Chhath Festival – Nepal Chhath Puja, 2024 Date and Its Celebration

Chhath festival Nepal

Chhath Festival in Nepal

Nepal is a country of festivals and religions. Each year, there are lots of festivals celebrated in Nepal. The festivals will cover the Nepali calendar. Dashain, Tihar, chat, Holi, Janai Purnima, Sangrati, etc., are the major festivals celebrated in Nepal. Chhath Festival is one of the most important Hindu festivals where lord Surya (Sun) is worshipped.

Chhath puja is known as Chhath Parva, Dala Chhath, Surya Shasthi, and Chaithi. This is celebrated in different parts of the world, including Bihar, Uttar Pradesh of India, and the Maithili region of Nepal. Chhath Parva starts after the end of Tihar in Nepal. According to the Hindu calendar, Chhath Parva falls on the month of Kartik. This festival is mainly celebrated for thanking Suryabhagwan for life on earth. Unlike other Hindu festivals, Chhath Parva does not involve idolatry.

 Chhath Festival in Nepal

Chhath Parva is the main festival of Maithili culture because it is mentioned in both Ramayana and Mahabharata. The rituals of Chhath puja are mainly done during the morning, during sunrise, because Hindu people believe that the Sun’s light during the early morning helps cure many diseases. Chhath Parva is beneficial for both health and the environment. The main rituals of this festival are observed on the fourth day of the rituals.

The rituals mainly include taking a holy bath in the river, fasting, standing and worshiping the Sun for a long time, and offering Prasad to primarily married women. In this festival, Married women take fast for prosperity and longer lifefamilies.

It is believed that when you dip in the river during Chhath puja, all your sins will be taken away by the water. Since Chhath puja falls during November, it is also said the rituals during Chhath puja will kill all the bacteria in your body and prepare your body for the coming winter season.

 

Significance of Chhath Puja

Interestingly, Surya is the primary God that is worshipped during Chhath. People thank lord Surya for the light and for making their lives on the earth possible. Mainly, they worship lord Surya during sunrise and sunset—especially women who fast the whole day and eat only after sunset during Chhath Parva. Devotees also worship goddesses Usha and Pratyusha along with the lord Sun. Usha is the first ray of the Sun, the sun rays during the morning, and Pratyusha are the last ray of the Sun in the evening, during the festival.

As the Sun is the source of healing, people with minor diseases also perform the rituals of this festival. This festival raises awareness of nature’s conservation and teaches the importance of the environment. People in agriculture also celebrate this festival, thanking God for the good harvest in the season just ended and for the coming season.

According to Hindu scriptures, offering the lord Surya and different Prasad, such as Thekku, Laddu, and Kheer fruits in bamboo minnows, will make the lord happy and heal everyone from their problems. During this festival, people eat pure vegetarian food without onion and garlic, and the Prashad is made without salt.

Along with its religious importance, Chhath puja also has scientific significance. It is said that when you dip in the water while exposed to the Sun, your body’s bio-electricity flow increases, improving its functionality.


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    Chhath puja 2024

    There are different festivals celebrated in Nepal. Dashain, Tihar, and Chhath puja are some of the major festivals of the Hindu religion. We have all celebrated festivals with our family, friends, and neighbors by sharing our happiness with them. But this year, we will celebrate the festival differently due to the danger of Covid-19, widely known as coronavirus.

    Due to the criticisms of this virus, we cannot celebrate the festival with our family and friends as we were before. But as festivals are essential parts of our lives, we must observe them by taking safety precautions.

    We must celebrate these festivals with the same energy and excitement as last year but follow necessary precautions. As the government has prohibited huge public gatherings and outings, this time, we will celebrate Chhath puja with fewer crowds and, in some cases, virtually. Instead of going out for Chhath puja, we celebrate this festival from home. There are different virtual ways of celebrating Chhath puja. Here are other ways to celebrate Chhath puja this year.

    Chhath festival

    Celebration Chhath Parva through Video call

    We have all been celebrating the festival with our family and friends. This year, due to COVID-19, traveling to and celebrating this festival will not be possible. But we can talk to them via video call and enjoy the rituals with the same energy. As technology has made communication more accessible, video calls are the best virtual way to celebrate the festival and connect with our loved ones.

    Distributing Virtual gifts

    Gifts are always an exciting part of festivals. Without exchanging gifts, the festival may feel boring. However, the Pandemic has changed the situation, and virtual gifts are the best way to exchange gifts. Different online stores, like Daraz, Foodmario, Bhojmario, etc, will provide a delivery system with safety precautions. You can buy gifts for your family and friends, and the store will deliver them.

    History of Chhath Puja

    Chhath puja is about worshipping Lord Surya for a longer, happier, and more prosperous life on earth. Since the origin of this festival is unclear and indefinite, there are some ancient beliefs about the history of Chhath puja. Chhath Puja carries an exciting History. The puja is mentioned in the holy books of Hindus, Ramayana and Mahabharata.

    Chhath puja on Mahabharata

    Along with five Pandavas, Kunti also gave birth to another child before birth as she was given magical power. That child was the son of Lord Surya. He used to stand in front of the Ganga River. He offered his prayer to Lord Surya and started Chhath puja; however, it is also said that Draupadi and Pandav performed the same prayer when they got their kingdom Indraprastha back from Kauravs. So, from that period, Chhath puja has been celebrated.

    Chhath puja on Ramayana

    It is also believed that Lord Ram is associated with Chhath puja. After Lord Ram, Sita, and Laxman returned to Ayodhya after 14 years of Banbash, they fasted for a whole day and ate in Lord Surya’s honor after sunset. So, from then on, it has been said that Chhath puja is celebrated yearly in honor of Lord Surya.

    Chhath festival Nepal

    Rituals that are involved in Chhath puja

    Chhath Parva starts at the start of Kartik month. There are many small rituals throughout the month, but the crucial rituals are performed after about 4 or 5 days of Diwali.

    Chhath puja is a four-day ritual mainly celebrated in the Mithila region of Nepal and various parts of India. Chhath Puja always falls on the fourth day after Diwali ends. This year, puja is celebrated on November 20,

    Friday. On this day, the central celebration occurs in different parts of the country; people of the Kathmandu valley can see wonderfully decorated Kamalpokhari. This place will have a massive crowd, and the decoration will look extraordinary. The worshipper would offer” Argha” to the Sun God during sunset.

    And distribute Prasad to all the devotees present at the rituals. However, the situation may be different this time due to Covid-19. The crowd would be smaller than the previous year, and people must follow all the rules and regulations to prevent the Pandemic.

    Day 1: Naya Khay

    The first day of this festival is called Naya Khay. On this day, devotees take a dip in the river. Karnali, Koshi, and Ganga are the main rivers where you can dip during this festival. But you can take a dip near your home. After the holy dip, the devotee takes the river’s water to their home. Assuming that water in your home is believed to keep bad energy away. After that, devotees fast for the whole day without drinking water and will have Prashad after sunset.

    Day 2: Lokhanda or kharna

    The second day of Chhath puja is called khanda or khana. On this day, devotees take a bath early in the morning. After the bath, they worship the Sun and start their fast. They dance and sing that day and eat after sunset. After that, they worship the sunset and the moon in the evening. The devotees offer kheer, rice, and bananas to their family members. After that, they keep fast for another whole day.

    Day 3: Sandhya Arghya

    The third day of Chhath puja is called Sandhya Arghya. During this day, people continue their fasting from the last day. They did not even have water on that day. The devotees spend their entire day doing puja. They make and offer the Prashad to other people. Thekua, coconut banana, and other seasonal fruits are very important for making Prashad. After that, all the devotees get together on the bank of the river or pond and offer their prayers to the Lord’s Sun.

    Chhath festival

    Day 4: Bihaniya or Bhorwa Ghat (Morning Arghya)

    This is the last and final day of Chhath puja. On this day, devotees wake up early in the morning and take a bath. After that, devotees will again gather together on the bank of the river, pond, or any water bodies. They will offer prayers to the lord’s son. After providing the Arghya to God, they will kneel to worship Chathi Maiya at the ghast. They will pray for the prosperous and healthy life of their family members. They will dance and enjoy themselves throughout the day. Thus, through these rituals, Chhath puja ends.


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      Here are the lesser-known facts about Chhath puja

      1)         Chhath puja is one of the few festivals celebrated in both Mahabharata and Ramayana.

      2)         Unlike other Hindu festivals, Chhath puja is claimed and supported by scientists. This festival also clarifies the concept of detoxification and revitalization of the body.

      3)         The rituals during this festival allow and support the absorption of vitamin D in the body.

      4)         If you perform the rituals in Chhath puja, you are not allowed to eat non-vegetarian food. Also, while breaking your fast, you should not eat salty food.

      5)         Chhath puja is not the worship of any idol.

      Why celebrate Chhath Puja?

      Chhath puja is a very beneficial festival for Hindus. Celebrating this festival is eco-friendly and does not cause pollution. Furthermore, the main aim of celebrating this festival is to gain mental purity and heal the soul. This festival focuses on respecting natural resources and maintaining cleanliness. This festival teaches us to thank the earth for everything it has given us. Here are some of the benefits of celebrating Chhath puja

      This festival focuses on worshipping Lord Surya, so the main rituals are performed during sunrise and sunset. The Sun’s radiation cures all harmful bacteria in the body, and due to this radiation, the bloodstream improves the circulation of white blood cells.

      Chhath Festival has both physical and mental benefits. As a material benefit, Chhath Puja will improve the immunity power of Devotees. The safe radiation from the sunlight will help cure skin bacterial and fungal infections. It also helps to increase the blood circulation system and boost the fighting power of blood. Additionally, the solar energy obtained from sunlight will make a balanced secretion of hormones and fulfill the body’s energy requirement.

      Thus, Chhath Puja is vital to boost our immune system and make our body fit and fine. Apart from this, Chhath puja also possesses mental benefits for people. A devotee can have mental peace and calmness as all the anger and negative energy is reduced. The devotee will go into deep prayer, awakening the healing, intuition, and telepathy.

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