People across India, especially up in North are celebrating Chhath Puja or Chhath Parva today. The festival is one of the most significant festivals for people of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. It also happens to be one of the most ancient festivals of the country. The festival is dedicated to the Sun God. In Hindu belief, cosmic bodies like Sun and Moon are held with much reverence. Sun is seen as the God of energy that helps sustain life on earth. On Chhath Puja, people offer their gratitude towards the Surya Shakti or Dala Chhath and Chhath Maiya and seek blessings for themselves and their entire family. Chhath is celebrated on the sixth day in the month of Kartik of the Hindu lunar calendar. The festival will be celebrated over four days, and the main Chhath Puja will be observed on 13th November, which is known as Surya Shashthi. There are many rituals that are followed in the festival, two of the most prominent being standing and offering prayers in holy rivers or water bodies, facing the sun for longer periods and also offering prasad to the Sun at sunrise and sunset. If you are celebrating Chhath this year, here are the sunrise and sunset times from 11th November 2018 to 14th November 2018.
Chhath Puja Dates, Sunset And Sunrise Timings
Day and Date (2018)- Sunrise | Sunset (In Patna)
11th November (Sunday) : 06:05 AM | 05:02 PM
12th November (Monday) : 06:06 AM | 05:01 PM
13th November (Tuesday) : 06:06 AM | 05:00 PM
14th November (Wednesday) : 06:07 AM | 05:00 PM
Shashthi Tithi begins at 01:50 AM on 13th November, 2018
Shashthi Tithi ends at 04:22 AM on 14th November, 2018
Chhath Puja Significance | Chhath Fasting Rules
Along with the Sun God, people also make offerings to Chhath Maiya, commonly known as Usha, the younger sister of the Sun God. According to legends, Draupadi and Pandavas performed the Chhath Puja as advised by noble sage Dhaumya and reclaimed their kingdom after their unceremonious exile. Many people observe the ritualistic Chhath fast, where in they consume only one whole vegetarian meal in the day. All the four days of the festival have unique set of rituals.
Here are some Chhath fasting do's and don'ts you must keep in mind if you are observing one these days.
1. It is a common ritual to take bath in the Holy Ganges in the morning. People carry the holy water of Ganga and sprinkle it on their food preparations for the day. They consume just one meal and observe a fast through the day.
2. On the second day of Chhath Puja, which is just a day prior to main Surya Shashti, people also fast for the whole day and break their fast after the sunset. They do not consume a single drop of water or a morsel of food except the one sattvik and vegetarian meal. For breaking the fast, devotees pray to Sun and the Moon, and offer kheer, chapattis, and bananas to their family and friends as prasad. Chhath puja songs are sung with devotion.
3. On the main day of Chhath, which falls on 13th November, 2018, people go to the river bank during sunrise and then again during sunset and make various food offerings such as thekua, kheer, malpua and the likes. They also gather and sing folk songs and recite folk tales.
4. On the last day of the Chhath Puja, devotees visit the river bank before the Sun rises and make offerings to the Sun. Devotees break their 36-hour long fast and then feast on the prasad along with their loved ones.
5. The food prepared during these four days is pure vegetarian and is cooked without the use of onion, garlic and table salt.
Happy Chhath Puja 2018 everybody!
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