Chhath Puja is only Vedic festival, dedicated to Lord Surya and Chhathi Maiya – known as Goddess Usha in Vedas. Chhath Puja is celebrated on sixth day of sukl paksh of Kartik month. Chhath Puja is most famous festival of the states of Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh. Lord Surya is one of the two visible God, source of all energy and main factor behind life on the earth. People worship Lord Surya for well being, progress and prosperity of human life for four days. Chhath Puja is also celebrated on sixth day of sukl paksh of Chaitra month after Holi in summer.

Story and Significance: There are many stories at the back of the origin of Chhath Puja. It is believed that in the ancient times, Chhath Puja was celebrated by Draupadi and the Pandavas in order to resolve problems and recover their lost kingdom. The mantras from the Rig Veda texts are chanted while worshipping the sun. This Puja was first started by Surya Putra Karna and then followed till date. As per the scholar, that the sages and rishis of ancient era used this method in order to restrain from any external means of food and gain energy directly from the rays of the sun.

आदिदेव नमस्तुभ्यं प्रसीद मम भास्कर | दिवाकर नमस्तुभ्यं प्रभाकर नमोऽस्तु ते ||

Celebration: Chhath Puja is celebrated across the India with great zeal, but it is unmatchable in Bihar, Jarkhand and eastern UP. The key part of the Puja is worship of Lord Surya on the riverbank including holy bath, fast, abstain from water, standing in water for long time and offer Ardhya to rising and setting sun. Celebration, Vrat and Worship of Chhath Puja is segregated in four days; On the first day of the Puja, devotees have to take a dip in the holy river and cook – Rice, Chana Dal and lauki. Only one meal is allowed on this day for those who observed the fast. On the second day, devotees are to observe a fast for the entire day, which they can break after sunset only. Devotees prepare Prasad include Kheer and Chapattis and they break their fast with Prasad, after which they have to fast without water for next 36 hours. Third day is spent by preparing the Prasad at home and then in the evening, the whole household of the devotees accompany them to the river bank, where they make offerings to the Lord Surya. Females generally wear yellow color sarees and sing folk songs. On the fourth day, all devotees go to the riverbank before sunrise, worship and offer to rising sun. This festival ends when the devotees break their 36 hours fast their relatives come over to their house to have their share of Prasad. So Chhat Puja Vrat is called one of the toughest vrat in all. The Chhath Prasad is conventionally prepared with rice, wheat, dry fruits, fresh fruits, nuts, jaggery, coconut and lots of ghee. Thekua is a special prasad of the Chhath Puja, it is basically a cookie made with whole wheat flour.

There are lots of scientific facts attached to these rituals as well. The devotees pray at the riverbank during sunrise or sunset and it is scientifically proven that, the solar energy has the lowest level of the Ultraviolet radiations during these two timings and it is truly valuable for the body. This traditional festival improves positivity and helps in detoxifying your mind, soul, body and removes the negative energy

In short Chhath Puja is festival of purity, devotion and thanking to Lord Surya, the main source of life on earth.