India, a country of varied cultures is truly a land of colourful festivals, rituals, fun and feasts throughout the year.
Chhat Pooja is a ritual mainly observed in the Indian state of Bihar yet some other parts such as Orissa, Assam, West Bengal and eastern Uttar Pradesh also observe it.
Chhat Pooja has a great meaning attached to it; it is worship of the Sun; giver of life and many bounties, devotees pay reverence and thanks to the Sun god for its great service to our planet and its inhabitants. The Sun being the source of energy and life-force is believed to bestow health, happiness, and prosperity on all the worshippers. This ritual is also believed to cure many diseases.
The History …
History of Chhat dates back to the Vedic period and the Rig Veda mentions about this worship. Chhat Pooja is believed to have started by Karna, the son of Surya during the Mahabharata period. Rishis observed it in order to get energy direct from the Sun.
Chhat Pooja is performed on the 6th day of the lunar month of Kartik that is Kartik Shukla Shashthi. As per the English or Georgian calendar this day falls in the month of October or November
This year Chhat Pooja falls on 1st November.
The festival is spread over four days; it starts two days before Chhat Pooja and lasts till the day after Chhat. The activities on these days are as described below:
Day 1: It is called Naha-Kha, Naha means to take bath and Kha means to eat.
On this first day of Chhath Puja, the devotees take a dip in river preferably in the holy waters of the river Ganga. The house is cleaned and only one meal is prepared on this day. This year the day falls on 30th October.
Day 2: It is the day before Chhat Pooja and is called Kharna. A day long fast is observed which is broken after the sunset after worship of Earth. Kheer (sweet preparation of rice and milk) and Purries (deep fried puffs of wheat flour) and bananas are offered in prayer and then served to all.
After this feast the devotees observe a fast for the next 36 hours without food and water. This year the day falls on 31st October.
Day 3: This is the main day of Chhath Pooja and is also called as Sanjhiya Arghya , which means an evening of offerings to the Sun. During the day Prasad (offerings) is prepared. In the evening devotees gather on the banks of a river. They stand in knee-deep water and offer Aragh and prayers to the setting Sun.
At night a colorful event called Kosi is held. Here, lighted earthen lamps are placed under a shelter made of five sugarcane sticks. The five sticks signify the five elements viz. earth, water, fire, air and prana of which the human body is made of. This is observed especially in families where a new marriage or child birth has taken place. This year the day falls on 1st November.
Day 4: This is called Parna or Bihaniya Aragh (next morning offerings) and marks the final day of Chhath pooja.
The devotees, along with others gather at the banks of a river before sunrise and offer Aragh to the rising Sun. This year the day falls on 2nd November.
Chhat Pooja Cures Vaastu defects …
My years of research and study have revealed the hidden Vaastu related benefits of observing Chhat worship. Chhat Pooja being the worship of the Sun god propitiates the Sun and strengthens it.
In Vaastu science the Sun carries a prominent role as it governs the most auspicious direction viz. east. In case there is any Vaastu dosha in your house related to the east direction then Chhat Pooja is of paramount importance to cure this defect.