Courtesy: Bihar Tourism
When I watched this video 2 years ago, My eyes were in tears.Let me admit this, I played this ad so many times that I felt so bad that I couldn’t go to my home due to my work. Now, I realize that life can’t be more important than the emotions, togetherness, love and family. It was my mother’s first chhath. My garndmother(we used to call “mama”) was getting old and my mother took a step to do it even though she was not so well. One of my friends brought the prasad for me and it was so sweet. I have so many fond memories of chhath puja with my family. I have never been so attach to something in my life than few things and one of those are Chhath puja. But during recent years, I haven’t got many chances to celebrate this with my family which I miss a lot.
What does Chhath mean?
To tell you about Chhath, The word chhath means “sixth” and it derives from sanskrit. It is celebrated on 6th Day of Kartika Month of Hindu Calender. Chhath Puja is considered one of the oldest festival from vedic hindu religion.
Chhath is a festival which is dedicated to Mother Nature and is celebrated with purity and cleanliness.
What is historical Significance behind Chhath?
This festival finds it root in Rigveda, one of the vedas where rishis of yore used this method to remain without any external intake of food as they were able to obtain energy directly from the sun’s rays. This was done through the Chhath method.
One of the most historical significance of why Hindu celebrate Chhath puja right after Diwali (exactly after 4 days) because When Ram and Sita came back to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile then they kept fast and offered puja to God Sun during shukla paksha of Kartika month. From that time, Chhath puja is integral festival in culture of Hindu who lives around Bihar, Uttarpradesh and Nepal.
We worship God sun but why do we say Chhathi Mayya? (source- wiki)
The Goddess who is worshipped during the famous Chhath Puja is known as Chhathi Maiya. Chhathi Maiya is known as Usha in the Vedas. She is believed to be the beloved younger wife of Surya, the sun god. Usha and Pratyusha are wives of Surya and Aditi is his mother.
Usha is the term used to refer to dawn– The first light of day. But in the Rig Veda she has more symbolic meaning. Symbolically Usha is the dawn of divine consciousness in the individual aspirant. It is said – Ushaand Pratyusha, wives of Sun are the main source of Sun. Both Usha and Pratyusha are worshiped along with Sun in chhath parva. Usha (literally-the first morning sun-ray) is worshipped on the last day and Pratyusha(the last sun-ray of day) is worshipped in the evening by offering water or milk to the rising and setting sun respectively. This is the only parva which signifies rising sun as well as setting sun both.
What do we pray for in chhath puja?
The Chhath Puja is performed in order to thank God Sun 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.
Why do children/kid love chhath puja very much?
We used to get lot of things to eat. Specially, Pakwaan(thekuaa) and Rice pudding(Gud ka kheer). I used to eat lot of Ghaghar, Sugarcane and dry fruits. Most of the family members would be at home so we used to play with each other- cricket.We used to burn our leftover crackers during chhath puja dusra aragh and pahla aragh.
You can listen this song which shows how badly a bihari guy misses chhath festival when mother can’t do chhath puja. Yes, I miss it too. 😦
[This post is dedicated to my Grand Parents whom I lost this year. I miss you a lot].