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Event Update

Chhath kicks off with sun-worship

Posted by: Ekantipur | Date: November 10, 2010

Chhath, a festival of worshipping the setting and rising sun famous particularly among Tarai-based people, began on Wednesday.

Bagmati River at Gaurighat, Bishnumati River and Rani Pokhari are among the spots being cleaned and decorated for the festival in the Kathmandu valley. According to devotees, the significance of emphasising on sunrise and sunset periods for worship is that only at the times can a majority of humans safely get direct solar energy.

“In Chhath puja, there is a tradition of offering arghya to the sun late in the evening and early in the following morning,” said Binod Kumar Gupta, member of Tarai Cultural Foundation. “We expect 3,000 devotees to perform the puja in the Valley alone this time.”

People believe that during these phases (one hour window after sunrise and before sunset), the ultraviolet radiation levels remain in safe limits and people can get rid of certain skin diseases by observing the festival.

The Chhath started in ancient Mithila’s capital Janakpurdham with fanfare wishing longevity of the progeny mainly by female though many males also fast on the occasion at present. On the first day, the devotees take a dip to purify their body and get prepared for the next day’s fasting. The house and surroundings of the parvatian (one who does Chhath fasting) are cleaned and the parvaitin has only one meal without salt, onion and garlic.

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, standing in water for long periods of time, and offering ‘prashad’ (prayer offerings) and aragh to the setting and rising sun.

The third day, Sanjhiya Arghya (evening offerings) is the most important day of the festival as on the eve of this day with the entire household the parvaitins go to a riverbank, pond or a common large water body to make the offerings to the setting sun.

On the final day of “Paran”, the offerings are made to the rising sun known as Bhorwa Aragh (morning offerings) of the puja, the devotees, along with family and friends, go to the riverbank before sunrise, in order to make the offerings. The festival ends with the breaking of the fast by the parvaitin and friends visiting the houses of the devotees to receive the prashad.

 

Comments

Dr Kashi Ram Kunwar: Maharajgunj, Kathmandu | 2010-11-16 06:23:38

Summary Location: Western Region, 100km West of Pokhara. Route: Baglung - Gurja Gaun - Budzunga Bara - Dhorpatan - Baglung Map: "Pokhara to round Dhaulagiri Himal", Mandala Trekking Maps. Season: October - April Days: 11 Equipment: As for Dhaulagiri Base Camp. Permits Dhorpatan

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