Every year, people celebrate the holy festival of Chhath which is a celebration of folk religion. The sixth day of Shukla Paksha in the Kartik month is dedicated to Chhathi Maiya. It is thought that those who worship Chhath gain happiness, money, success, glory, fame, and honour. Nahay Khay refers to Chhath’s first day, which marks the start of the festival. On this day, the followers fast and consume just one meal in addition to having a holy bath in the river Ganga. The states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Jharkhand are where this festival is primarily celebrated, following Diwali, with considerable fervour and enthusiasm. By worshipping Lord Surya and Chhathi Maiya on Chhath Puja, you are blessed with health, wealth, and happiness. From rituals to dos and don’ts here is all you need to know about this auspicious festival.
(Also read: Chhath Puja 2022 Calendar: When is Chhath Puja? Know all about the correct dates for 4 days of Chhath celebrations )
Chhath Puja Nahay Khay rituals:
On the first day of Chhath Puja celebration. People who observe vrat rise early in the morning to worship Lord Surya before consuming meals. The celebrations for Chhath Puja officially start at this point. In observance of this, people fast, dress neatly, and prepare food as prasad for the Sun deity. Devotees also prepare chana daal and kaddoo bhaat (pumpkin rice), as they are popular dishes.
On the second day of Chhath, known as Kharna day. Vratis do not eat anything or drink water until puja in the evening when prasad of kheer is made with gud and arwa chawal. The 36-hour fast is then maintained till the end of Chhath Puja, when arghya is performed at daybreak.
Following the demanding two-day celebration, the fast is kept up on the third day, during which time worshippers refrain from drinking any water. On this day, worshippers present thekua to the Sun God in a body of water as prasad. The fasting continues on the third day as well.
Dos and don’ts to follow on this day:
- A day after Diwali, the preparation for Chhath Puja starts when devotees begin to eat exclusively Satvik food (without onion, garlic)
- On Nahay Khay, vratis start their day by cleaning every nook and corner of their house. Cleanliness and hygiene should be maintained throughout the festival.
- Devotees should take a bath early in the morning and eat only after taking a bath. After that apply orange vermillion and preparations for making the prasad begin.
- All the ingredients used in cooking, such as rice, beans, and vegetables, are either newly purchased or well cleaned, and they shouldn’t be combined with anything that has been eaten before or handled with filthy hands.
- Rock salt is used to make the prasad. The food prepared is strictly satvik and onion and garlic are not used while cooking.
- After offering it to Sun god and Chatthi Maiya, the prasad is first consumed by the person who’s keeping the fast and then distributed to others in the family.
- One should offer milk and water to God Surya and worshipping Chhathi Mata from a snoop filled with prasad is considered auspicious. Do not forget to listen to the vrat katha at night.
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