Chhat Puja, also known as Pratihar Sashthi or Surya Sashthi, is an important Hindu festival celebrated in the states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh in India. It is celebrated to honor the Sun God, Surya, and is observed on the sixth day of the month of Kartik in the Hindu calendar.
The festival is celebrated for four days, starting on the fourth day of Kartik and ending on the seventh day. During this period, devotees take part in various rituals and activities to honor the Sun God. These include fasting, offering special prayers and pujas, and taking a holy dip in the Ganges. On the sixth day, which is the main day of the festival, devotees offer special prayers to the Sun God and offer arghya (a mixture of water, milk, and rice) to the rising sun.
Devotees also observe a strict fast on the day of the festival. The day before the festival, devotees prepare a special dish known as “chhat”, which is made of wheat, sugar and milk. This dish is offered to the Sun God as a symbol of gratitude.
On the day of the festival, devotees gather on the banks of the Ganges and offer prayers and arghya to the Sun God. After the puja, they exchange gifts, sweets and greetings with each other. The festival is also marked by music and dance performances, and devotees also take part in special rituals such as the “Kheer Path”, which involves taking a ceremonial walk around the river.
Chhat Puja is an important festival for Hindus and is celebrated with great enthusiasm and devotion. It is a time for devotees to thank the Sun God for his blessings and to seek his guidance and protection. It is also a time for families to come together, exchange gifts and enjoy each other’s company.