A sense of divinity, a sense of prosperity runs through the veins in this 4-day festival of Chhath Puja. Chhath is one of the most important and religious Hindu festivals dedicated to Lord Surya and Chhathi Maiya. This year the festival of keeping ‘Nirjala’ fast (a fast without consuming water) for more than 36 hours is commemorating on November 8, 2021 and will end on November 11, 2021.
The festival requires for devotees to perform their rituals by standing with their feet dipped in a water body. Due to the spread of Covid-19, the devotees symbolically did their Chhath Puja as gatherings were prohibited. But to everyone’s surprise, the guidelines have been lifted this year and permission granted, but with the hinge of restrictions.
Let us know more about the guidelines and places to celebrate Chhath Puja in Udaipur, this year. Before that here’s all you want to know about Chhath Puja.
ALL ABOUT CHHATH PUJA
- There are many stories behind as to why Chhath is celebrated but one of them says that according to Hindu mythology, it is believed that Lord Ram offered prayers to the Sun when he returned to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile.
- Chhath Puja is celebrated on the sixth day of the month of Kartik, mainly by people who hail from Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha and eastern parts of Uttar Pradesh.
- It is one of the most auspicious and biggest festivals dedicated to Lord Surya and, during the span of four days, devotees keep a fast that lasts from sunrise to sunset and comprises of more than 36 hours of Nirjala Fast.
- The timings of Suryodaya (sunrise) and Suryast (Sunset) are highly significant during Chhath Puja and the celebrations begin with ‘Nahay Khay‘ also known as ‘Barona‘, followed by ‘Kharna‘ also known as ‘Sanjhwat‘, ‘Sandhya Arghya‘ and ‘Usha Arghya‘.
- During this festival of 4 days, the devotees are allowed to consume only Satvik food (without onion and garlic) and prepare the meals with the utmost hygiene and eat only after taking a bath.
- This year, the festivities of Chhath Puja begin on November 8 with Nahay Khay and will end on November 11 with Usha Arghya.
Four Days of Chhath Puja
- On the first day of Nahay Khay, devotees take a bath in the holy Ganga water and clean their house and surroundings. Rice, chana dal (split Bengal gram) and bottle gourd are a must on the menu of the devotees on Nahay Khay.
- The second day is Kharna and on this day devotees fast for the whole day and make a special prasad called Rasaio-Kheer (with jaggery and rice) accompanied with chapatis and eat it before the sunset. Devotees eat the prasad and start their nirjala fast the till Usha Arghya.
- On the third day of Sandhya Arghya, folk songs are sung at the banks of water bodies and ghats. The worshippers prepare a special sweet dish ‘Thekua or Tikri‘ with jaggery, ghee and flour, which is offered as a prasad to Chhathi Maiya. At the ghat, the devotees take sugarcane along with a basket of fruits and bamboo soops for the evening Arghya. In the evening, at the time of sunset, they offer Arghya to Lord Surya with the family members in a nearby water body or at a ghat, which is also known as Sandhya Arghya or Pehli Arghya.
- Usha Arghya is the last and fourth day of the four-day-long Chhath festival and is also known as Paran Din. On the final day, devotees offer prayers to the Sun and perform all the religious rituals and customs during the dawn of the day. They stand in the water bodies till the sun rises but some of the devotees sit near the banks until the sun rises. Devotees break their nirjala fast after offering Arghya to the rising sun.
GUIDELINES AND PLACES TO CELEBRATE CHHATH PUJA IN UDAIPUR
Due to the spread of coronavirus, last year the devotees were not able to gather and perform the rituals near ghats and water bodies. But this year the government has lifted the restrictions and now religious events can be held in both closed and open spaces with covid appropriate behavior of applying mask, sanitizers and social distancing. This has been a good piece of news as, unlike any other year, last year the devotees had to symbolically complete their festive rituals.
Whereas the committee members of the group organizing Chhath Puja events have said that this year, keeping in mind the probable spread on corona, there will not be a grand event but the areas, especially the Dewali end at Fatehsagar has been cleaned by the committee for devotees to come and do their festivities, comfortably.
Places in Udaipur to perform Chhath Puja festivities:
- Dewali end at Fatehsagar
- Rani Road
- Goverdhan Sagar
(Note: These are the major places where Chhath Puja rituals were performed before the year 2020)
May lord Sun and Chhathi Maiya bring peace, prosperity and enlightenment in your life and may you get to fulfill your dreams and desires.
Happy Chhath Puja!