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Devotees pay obeisance to the setting Sun at Dimapur

chhath puja

DIMAPUR, OCTOBER 30: Thousands of people thronged the banks of River Dhansiri and other water bodies in Dimapur Sunday evening to celebrate Chhath Puja and pay obeisance to the setting Sun while maintain strict fasting.
The banks of the river at Urra Village and behind ISBT, Dimapur, reverberated with songs dedicated to Chhathi Maiya and Sun God as women sang various hymns seeking blessings for well-being of family members. Devotees, especially women who observe the fast, will offer prayers to the rising Sun Monday morning and end their fast.
The festival has gained significance in various parts of the country, although it was confined to the people of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, parts of West Bengal and Terai region of Nepal. The migration of people from these States to other areas spread the significance of the festival and these days, one can see people from other communities celebrating the festival.
This year’s Chhath Puja saw large number of devotees observing the fast and celebrating the festival on the banks of River Dhansiri as in the last two years COVID-19 pandemic restricted huge gatherings.
Seeing the increase in number of devotees this year, like previous years, the Nagaland Bhojpuri Samaj (NBS) took the initiative allot ghats to the devotees and made suitable arrangements for their comfort while performing the puja at Dhansiri River near Urra Village.
From preparing ghats to making arrangements of lights and parking of vehicles, the members of the Nagaland Bhojpuri Samaj spent several days in planning and coordination with the district administration, police, SDRF and the Nagaland Pollution Control Board and successfully carried out their task so that the devotees offer prayers without any problems.
The river banks behind ISBT, Dimapur, also saw huge number of devotees celebrating the festival. Hundreds of people who could not find space at river banks, made alternate arrangements in their homes and colonies by constructing artificial water sources and offered prayers.
Meanwhile, after paying obeisance to the setting Sun today, the devotees returned home where some of the devotees conducted other rituals. Women prepared a canopy of sugar-cane and lit earthen lamps underneath and sang hymns in praise of the Sun God and Chhathi Maiya, observing a strict fast.
It may be mentioned that Chhath Puja is celebrated as a thanksgiving to the Sun God for giving the bounties of life on earth and for the fulfillment of believers’ wishes. It is a festival of reverence to the solar deity, the only festival in the world where devotees offer salutations to the setting sun and then again ends with offering prayers to the rising sun the following morning.
Chhathi Maiya, the sixth form of Devi Prakriti and Lord Surya’s sister is worshipped as the Goddess of the festival. It is celebrated six days after Deepavali, on the sixth day of the lunar month of Kartika (October–November) in the Hindu calendar Vikram Samvat.
The festival begins with devotees observing a 38-hour fast, which ends after paying obeisance to the rising sun.
On Monday morning, the devotees, especially women, will offer ‘Araghya’ and chant mantras and hymns and break the fast after the sun rises.
(Page News Service)