Chhath festival, which began on Thursday, is being celebrated in a grand way in Bihar, Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi. Every year, the festival starts with paying respect to the setting sun and concludes with offering water to the rising sun. The Chhath Puja begins with Nahay Khay, followed by Lohanda and Kharna, Sandhya Argh and Suryodaya. On Chhath Puja, women perform the morning puja by standing in water body and offering water to the Sun and Chhathi Maiyya, believed to be Sun's sister. This year, Chhath Puja will be celebrated from the evening of November 2 till the morning of November. Leaders extended greetings to the devotees on the auspicious occasion.
President Ram Nath Kovind conveyed good wishes and greetings to the citizens for Chhath Puja. "Greetings and good wishes to fellow citizens on Chhath Puja. Let this Chhath Puja be an occasion to express our devotion to Sun God, Mother Earth and rivers. May this festival bring happiness to everyone's life and inspire us to respect the nature more," the President tweeted.
Greetings and good wishes to fellow citizens on Chhath Pooja. Let this Chhath Pooja be an occasion to express our devotion to Sun God, Mother Earth and rivers. May this festival bring happiness to everyone's life and inspire us to respect the nature more #PresidentKovind— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) November 2, 2019
Former President Pranab Mukherjee also tweeted wishing citizens a long and prosperous life.
"Greetings to fellow citizens on the auspicious occasion of #ChhathPuja. May the Sun god bless you all with the bounties of life and fulfill your wishes. Wishing everyone longevity, prosperity, progress and well-being," Mr Mukherjee tweeted.
Vice President Venkaiah Naidu also wished everyone on Chhath Puja:
Warm greetings and best wishes to all on the auspicious occasion of Chhath Puja today.— VicePresidentOfIndia (@VPSecretariat) November 1, 2019
May this festival dedicated to worshiping Sun, the primary source of energy, bring happiness & prosperity in everyone's lives. #ChatthPujapic.twitter.com/uLSQfhmP6w
Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi also extended wishes to the citizens on the holy festival of Chhath.
Sonia Gandhi wished people on Chhath puja and in a statement expressed special reverence for all the people observing a fast. She also prayed to Lord Sun and Chhath Maiya to provide happiness, peace, health, wealth and prosperity to all.
"Heartfelt greetings to all of you on Mahaparv Chhath. May the Lord Sun gives new happiness to all your family. This festival also inspires us to make nature and rivers pollution free," Wayanad Congress MP Rahul Gandhi wrote on Facebook.
Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also greeted people on the occasion.
In a tweet in Hindi, she said, "Many wishes to all of you for the festival of Chhath, a symbol of faith in nature and folk. Chhath festival should inspire all of us to spread the sweetness of thekua in the society and save nature."
During food preparation in Chhath Puja; salt, garlic or onions are not used. Special foods include thekua - made up from flour, dry fruits, ghee and sugar; rice kheer - made of rice, milk, water, jaggery and dry fruits, pumpkin dish; kasaar- made of rice powder, anise, ghee and jaggery; puris - a deep-fried bread and green grams.