Chhath Puja concludes, devotees offer ‘arghya’ keeping Covid-19 protocols at bay
The four-day celebration period of Chhath Puja, dedicated to the Sun God, see rituals known as Prathihar, Dala Chhath, Chhathi, and Surya Shashthi.Updated: Nov 21, 2020, 08:47 IST
Thousands of devotees gathered to offer morning prayers to the rising sun on the last day of Chhath Puja on Saturday. Most people across the country stuck to the traditional practice of offering prayers at river banks on the concluding day of the four-day Puja, flouting the guidelines issued to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
Lucknow’s Gomti riverfront, the Ganga banks in Varanasi and Patna and other places in Mumbai, Delhi and Bhubaneswar were abuzz with devotees despite the Covid-19 restrictions, according to news agency ANI. However, many devotees decided to stay back home to offer ‘arghya’ to the rising sun from temporary water bodies, made specifically for the festival inside their campuses.
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar too celebrated the festival at his official residence. He offered ‘arghya’ to the setting sun, a tradition he has been following since he became the CM 15 years back, but refrained from stepping out to take stock of the ghats like he earlier used to, PTI reported. Deputy chief minister Renu Devi also performed Chhath at her home town Bettiah.
The four-day celebration period of Chhath Puja, dedicated to the Sun God, see rituals known as Prathihar, Dala Chhath, Chhathi, and Surya Shashthi.
On the first day, ‘Nahay Khay’, a traditional meal, is prepared and served in the afternoon. On the second day of the Puja, worshippers observe ‘Nirjala Vrata’ (fast without drinking even a drop of water) and they break their fast only in the evening after worshipping the sun during sunset. The third day of the Puja is called ‘Sandhya Arghya’ and devotees again observe a day-long fast and break it only the following day after sunrise.
The festivities conclude on the fourth day after devotees perform the ‘Usha Arghya’ (offering prayers to the rising sun). The Chhath Puja is celebrated on the sixth day of the Kartik month of the Hindu calendar, which is also the fourth day after Diwali.
(With agency inputs)