Lalitpur [Nepal], November 20 (ANI): The Chhath puja concluded in Nepal, with devotees offering 'Araghya' to the rising sun while submerging at the Bagmati River, marking the end of four days of arduous fasting.
Chhath Puja is a festival dedicated to the sun that is celebrated with much exuberance in several north-Indian states and even outside the country.
"Today we made an offering to the rising sun and gave 'argha' by submerging ourselves in the water (the Bagmati River) while waiting for the sun to rise. We have been on a fast for the last three days. This Chhath is our main festival, which we observe with grandeur and gaiety," Indu Thakur, a Chhath observer along the Bagmati River, told ANI.
Chhath is a festival of benediction to Lord "Surya" (sun) that starts from the day Karthik Shukla Chathurthi and ends in Shukla Saptami according to the lunar calendar.
Thekuwa, Khajuri and Kasar, along with verities of dry fruits, fruits and flowers, constitute the basket popularly known as "Dhakri."Devotees especially keep the fast and worship the sun for the long lives and well-being of their family members, also praying for their expectations and attempts to come true.
All the family members take part in the Chatth festivities. The Hindu religion adores and respects Lord Sun.
"On the starting day of the festival, we have grains and vegetables, which exclude onions and garlic. The first day is called 'Nuhaya khuwaya' (eat after bathe). On the evening of the second day, we have porridge and puri with vegetables, paying attention to Sun and 'Chhati Maiya'. On the third day, we perform rituals at home and come here on the embankments of water resources to perform the rituals. That day, we don't drink even a single drop of water or eat any food items. Today is the final day's morning and we haven't had anything till now," Madhuri Gupta, another Chhath observer, told ANI.
Chatth, which was especially celebrated by elders or people from southern regions of Nepal in the past, has now been able to attract the attention of people from other regions and communities.
Often regarded as the festival of purity, goodwill, and faith, some people believe that Chhath Puja also empowers women. (ANI)