About Chhat Puja, it is commonly believed
that, the wishes of the devotees are always granted. Also, the devotees dread
the punishment for any misdeed during Chhatt. Therefore, the city remains safe
and experiences peace during this time when even criminals prefer to behave.
Chhatt is a very joyous and colorful
festival. All the people dress up in their best clothes. Devotional folk songs
are sung both at home and on the riverbank. Millions of people gather at the
banks of river Ganges in Patna (Capital of Bihar) to celebrate Chhatt. The streets
are kept spotlessly clean by volunteers, who also decorate all the streets leading
to the river.
The prasad includes sweets and fruit
kept in small baskets made of bamboo.
The food is strictly vegetarian and it
is cooked without salt, onions or garlic. Emphasis on put on maintaining the
purity of the food.
Once a family start performing Chhatt
Puja, it is continued annually by the following generations. If unable to perform
the puja themselves for personal reasons, it is recommended that one should
assist some one else who is performing the puja by providing funds or the prasad
instead of completely missing the puja.
The Days Of Festivity:
The festival of Chhatt is marked by celebrations
and rituals that last 4 days.
The devotees bathe in the holy river
Ganges to wash away their sins. They also clean their homes thoroughly.
The devotees observe a fast for the whole
day, which is broken in late evening, after performing the puja (worship ceremony)
at home. They offer kheer (rice pudding) and fruit to God and then share it
with family and friends.
The day is spent preparing the prasad
(offerings) at home. In the evening the devotees go to a riverbank or pond where
the prasad is offered to the setting sun. The devotees return home for another
colorful celebration. Under a canopy of sugar cane sticks, they place clay elephants
containing diyas (earthen lamps), and baskets filled with prasad. Agni(fire
On the final day of the festivities the
devotees, family and friends go to the riverbank. Prasad is offered to the rising
sun. The devotees break their fast and the prasad is shared with all the people