Ranchi, Jharkhand 29 October 2014 :: Devotees offer prayer to Lord Sun during Chhath Puja festival at various Places in Ranchi, Jharkhand on Wednesday.
Lensman :: Ratan Lal & Jagdish Singh
About :: Chhath
Chhath (Devanagari: छठ, छठी, छठ पर्व, छठ पुजा, डाला छठ, डाला पुजा, सुर्य षष्ठी) is an ancient Hindu festival and only Vedic Festival dedicated to the Hindu Sun God, Surya and Chhathi Maiya (ancient Vedic Goddess Usha). The Chhath Puja is performed in order to thank Surya for sustaining life on earth and to request the granting of certain wishes.
The Sun, considered as the god of energy and of the life-force, is worshiped during the Chhath festival to promote well-being, prosperity and progress. In Hinduism, Sun worship is believed to help cure a variety of diseases, including leprosy, and helps ensure the longevity and prosperity of family members, friends, and elders.
The rituals of the festival are rigorous and are observed over a period of four days. They include holy bathing, fasting and abstaining from drinking water ( Vratta ), standing in water for long periods of time, and offering prashad (prayer offerings) and arghya to the setting and rising sun.
Although the festival is observed most elaborately in Bihar, Jharkhand, Eastern UP and the Terai regions of Nepal in modern times, and is more prevalent in areas where migrants from those areas have a presence, It is celebrated in all regions and major urban centers in India. The festival is celebrated in the regions including but not exclusive to the northeast region of India, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Chandigarh, Gujarat, Delhi, Mumbai, Mauritius, Fiji, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Suriname, and Jamaica.