Chhath Puja 2023: The Sun God is worshipped during Chhath Puja, a major festival observed in the states of Bihar, Jharkhand, and eastern Uttar Pradesh. A strict four-day fast is observed from sunrise to sunset during this festival, with particular attention paid to the important times of sunrise and sunset, known as Suryodaya and Suryast.
Festive Schedule and Rituals:
Beginning on Kartik Shukla Paksha’s Chaturthi Tithi, each day of the celebrations has a special meaning: Nahay Khay on Panchami, Chhath Puja on Sashti, and Usha Arghya on Saptami. The Nahay Khay rituals are set on November 17 this year.
Nahay Khay: Devotion and Preparation:
Before breaking their fast, devotees wake up early on the first day of the four-day fast to worship Lord Surya. Prasad, which is prepared and served to the Sun deity, includes chana dal and pumpkin rice.
Preparations and Dietary Restrictions:
A day after Diwali, preparations for Chhath Puja begin, with a stringent adherence to dietary restrictions such avoiding non-vegetarian dishes and onions and garlic in favour of Satvik cuisine. Throughout Nahay Khay, devotees emphasise cleanliness and begin the celebration by giving their homes a thorough cleaning.
Nahay Khay Rituals and Offerings:
Following an early-morning bath, devotees eat prasad, which is created with freshly bought or thoroughly cleaned objects and rock salt. The person who is fasting consumes the prasad first, giving it to the Sun deity and Chatthi Maiya before sharing it with other family members. Milk and water are offered to Lord Surya, and Chhathi Mata is given prasad.
The Chatth Puja vrat katha, a story explaining the significance of Chhath Puja and related ceremonies, is read aloud throughout the evening of Nahay Khay.
Puja Samagri for Nahay Khay:
Agarbatti, white flowers, wheat, coin, camphor, cotton balls, lamp, ghee, fruits, Ganga jal, Lord Surya idol, Lord Ganesha idol, khajur (date), panchamrit, paan (betel leaves), puja thali, red sandal (laal chandan), red cloth, rice (chawal/akshat), supari (betel nuts), and vrat katha book are among the necessary items for the Nahay Khay rituals.