Jharsuguda: Hundreds of devotees thronged the Ghats and ponds to offer pay obeisance to the Sun on the occasion of Chhath Puja in Jharsuguda District. Chhath the only festival in which devotees worship the setting Sun first, followed by prayers to the rising Sun. On Friday, the devotees offer prayers or Arghya to the setting Sun at various river side and ponds in the district.
The festival is celebrated on the sixth day after Diwali every year, and it is usually a four-day celebration. Although rooted in Bihar and eastern UP, the Chhath puja is being celebrated in many states of the country.
During the festival, married women observe a fast for 36 hours and for a long life, well-being of their family members
As per the rituals and customs, Chhath Puja started from Wednesday with ‘Nahai-Khai’ in which devotees prepare traditional food. On Thursday, a day before the Chhath, devotees observe a day-long fast which ends after sunset. On this day, another ritual ‘Kharna’ is observed wherein devotees cook ‘kheer’ and share it with family members and relatives.
The third day is ‘Chhath’ when devotees offer ‘Arghya’. On Friday, devotees will stand in waist-deep water and offer prayers to the sun on the banks of rivers. A day after Chhath, the final day of the puja, devotees along with their friends and relatives assemble at the riverbank before sunrise and offer ‘arghya’ amid chanting of mantras.
“For the First Time, I have been celebrating Chhath Puja in Jharsuguda, Previously I use to go to my native place in Jamshedpur, But after seeing the presence of so many people together, I could feel the same ambience of this festival over this year” says Rita Devi native of Jamshedpur who will be observing the Chhath fast for the 21st time this year.
As per Executive Officer of Jharsuguda Municipality M. Sriniwas said that, “Like Last year, we have cleaned and made necessary arrangements to various ponds for devotees who can perform this auspicious festival.”