Chhat Puja: Autumn Festival in Nepal

Autumn is the season of festivals in Nepal. With the ending of summer, the great festival of Nepali: Teej, begins following Dashain, Tihar, and Chhath. Autumn is itself the top trekking season in Nepal, and the festival falls during this season have added to its beauty more. 

Thus, for the adventurous journey, stunning views of mountains, terraces, rivers, and sky-dominating peaks, and to explore the cultural insights of the Hindus, planning a trip to Nepal in the autumn would be the finest. 

Chhath festival is one of the oldest Hindu festivals that started celebrating Vedic verses. The festival celebrates by the particular Hindu communities in southern parts of Nepal and India, including Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. This festival is also prevalent in those areas where peoples from this community are present, like Kathmandu. This festival is devoted to the worship of the solar deity, Sun God. Devotees show thankfulness and gratitude to the Sun God for presenting the best of many lives on the earth and praying for granting some wishes. 

Similarly, Chhath Maiya: sister of Sun God, is worshiped as the goddess of the Chhath festival. In Kathmandu valley, you can view the large number of devotees celebrating Chhath in Kamalpokhari and in the banks of bagmati river. 

When Is Chhath Puja/Festival In Nepal Celebrated?

Chhath Parva, aka Chhath puja in Nepal, is celebrated at the end of the autumn season, a few days after the Tihar festival. Chhath festival falls every year between Oct-November, on Kartikha sixth day of the lunar month. It starts in the Kartik Shukla, after celebrating for four days, and ends on the day of the Kartik Saptami. Chhath is a big festival in their community. It involves bathing, fasting, puja, and prasad. 

First Day: Nahaye Khaye 

Nakhaye khaye is the first day of Chhath puja. Firstly, the devotees of the Chhath Parva clean the house following bathing. Later, they eat the food after keeping it in front of God to safeguard the mind from revenge. 

Second Day: Rasiaav-Roti

On the second day of Chhath Puja, called Rasiaav-Roti the devotees stay the whole day without drinking water, not even a single drop. In the evening of the day, the devotees can eat the kheer made up of jaggery: gur ki kheer called as Rassaiv, chapati, and fruits. 

Third-Day: Sandhya Arghya 

The third day of Chhath Puja falls on Kartik Shukla Shashti. On this day, devotees offer arghya to the Sun God at the sandhya time (evening time). The whole family decorates the bamboo baskets with thekuwa, fruits, and rice laddus in the evening and offers Arghya to the setting Sun God. Milk and water are offered to the sun at the time of arghya. The soop filled with prasad is offered to the goddess Chhatahi Maiya. After worshiping the Sun God, Vrat Katha (stories) is heard and Shasthi Devi songs are sung.  

This day is the toughest as the devotees fast for about 36 hours (break the fasting only after the sunrise on the fourth day). 

Fourth Day: Usha Arghya 

In the early morning (Usha time) of the fourth day: the last day of Chhath puja, the devotees offer arghya to the Sun God. The devotees go to the river bank before sunrise and offer an arghya to the rising sun. Following this, the child will be protected by Goddes Chhathi Maiya. 

Similarly, the entire happiness of the family will be looked for the sought in peace. After this, devotees drink raw milk and sharbat and break their fast by eating a little prasad called Parana or Paran.

Chhath Puja Rituals/Vidhi 

Chat puja has its beautiful vidhi. Firstly the devotees will get all the requirements (samagri) for Chhat puja, and argh    ya is offered to the Sun God. The detail about the Chhath puja vidhi is listed below:

  • One large size bamboo basket, plate, milk, glass, and two soop made of brass or bamboo. 

  • Big lemons, caravans, sandalwood, pear, honey, paan, camphor, and dessert.

  • Rice, sugarcane, sweet potato, coconut, suthani, lamp, and red vermilion.

  • Rice lados, malpua, take thekua, semolina pudding, etc., as a prasad. 

Chhath Puja Arghya Vidhi

The above Chhat puja samagri is placed in the bamboo basket. Then the whole prasad is put in the soop, then a lamp is burned in the soop. Then the women with traditional soop in their hands stand knee-deep in the water and offer the soop to the Sun god. 

For more information on the festivals of Nepal, please see the Festivals in Nepal.
 

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