Chhath Puja
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What Makes Chhath Puja So Special

If you are hearing Sharda Sinha’s song about the sun and offerings playing on loop, then it is Chhath Puja. Though it isn’t celebrated widely in every corner of the country, it’s one of the major festivals celebrated in Bihar. If you know any Bihari or you belong to this state, you will agree, the festival holds huge importance. The best thing about this festival is- it is the excuse to return to our roots and celebrate our culture. Celebrated as a thanksgiving festival, Chhath Puja is usually observed in the month of October and November. 

There are many things that make this festival so special. From the preparations to Thekua. Everything about this festival is itself so soothing and special that a Bihari considers it more than a festival. Out of all the things, there’s one thing that I feel makes Chhath Puja unique and that’s the worshipping of the sun.

Since my childhood, I have seen Chhath Puja is celebrated in my family. As a kid, I was more interested in sneaking fruits and thekua and eating them. I used to see my folks worshipping the setting sun first and then worshipping the rising sun. However, I often wondered why we first worship the setting sun and not the rising one. Unlike any other festival or rituals dedicated to Lord Sun, Chhath puja begins by worshipping the setting sun. 

But then the innocent and curious mind was distracted by fireworks, Diya, and the festivities. After all, festivals are meant to celebrate and enjoy. Years after when I was pursuing my graduation, I got to know the reason behind the ritual. Worshipping the setting sun along with the rising one represents the birth cycle. It tells, one that has taken birth will eventually die and a new life will be born. Everything will end one day and everything that has ended will eventually come back to you.

However, this is not the only reason. People also believe that worshipping the setting sun means expressing gratitude to our ancestors. It is believed to be a way to thank them for everything they have done for us. It shows we haven’t forgotten our roots even though we have progressed in our lives. While worshipping the rising sun is about welcoming new beginnings in life. During Chhath Puja, you will see people being excited to spot the rising sun. As soon as the rising sun is visible, people fold their hands and seek blessings from the deity. 

People belonging to states other than Bihar and Jharkhand may not know that Chhath Puja is a thanksgiving festival. Every person participating in Chhath Puja, thanks Lord Sun for bestowing life, energy, and positivity on this planet. They also seek blessings from Him. In the Hindu culture, Lord Sun is believed to be the only obvious deity. He is the one who plays a major role in sustaining life forms on earth. Perhaps, therefore, people worship the setting sun as a thanksgiving to the Lord. 

At times, I think, how beautifully these rituals were brought into existence. Each and every ritual of Chhath Puja is meaningful and binds us with our roots. Perhaps the people in those days visualized how important it is for us to stay connected to our roots. People may stay in metropolitan cities and have a modern and sophisticated lifestyle, they return once to their roots.

For this, I am really thankful to Chhath Puja and all the rituals associated with it. There isn’t a single year when I look forward to celebrating this festival with all my heart and dedication. In fact, you will find different age groups taking part in this festival with full enthusiasm and devotion. Everyone comes with their own wishes and prays to the deities to fulfill these wishes.

While some ask for good marks, others ask for the well-being of their kin. I too have many wishes and in the past few years, I too have sought many wishes. Each time, I thank Lord Sun on the Sandhya Arghya, the day when the setting sun is worshipped. It is on the next day, I put my wishes before the deities and ask them to bless me in every possible way. 

Every year I hear my mother saying, “Dear Lord, thank you for everything that you gave to us in this one year. Please continue blessing us and protecting us from evils and fears.” My mother believes Lord Sun, Goddess Ganga, and Chhathi Mata will resolve all our problems. This prayer is etched in my mind so clearly that at times, I wonder what a strong faith my mother has. 

So this year, when we begin our puja, I want Lord Sun to bless my mother and fulfill all her wishes. I am going to ask Lord to resolve our problems and make this world a better place to live in. Not only this, but I am also going to seem compassion, success, and courage from Him. 

I hope you too are ready for thanksgiving and welcoming the new beginnings with hope and positivity.

Happy Chhath Puja. 

Also read: My Love For You Is A Little Greater

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