DIMAPUR, NOVEMBER 20: People of north India, especially from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand, residing at Dimapur, celebrated Chhath Puja on Friday and paid obeisance to the setting sun.
This year, the Chatth Puja celebration was mostly confined to the homes of devotees due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which otherwise is celebrated every year at the banks of River Dhansiri and other water bodies, where large gatherings are witnessed.
The devotees, residing in various colonies or large building complexes, built artificial water bodies in open spaces or on terraces of buildings and offered prayers on Friday. The same rituals will continue till Saturday morning when the devotees will pay obeisance to the rising sun.
Chhath festival is celebrated as a thanksgiving to the Sun God for giving the bounties of life on earth and for fulfillment of wishes of believers. 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.
The festival begins with the devotees observing a fast for 36 hours, which ends after paying obeisance to the rising sun.
On Friday evening, after paying obeisance to the setting sun, most of the devotees performed another ritual in their respective homes.
Women prepared a canopy of sugar-cane and lit earthen lamps underneath and sang hymns in praise of Sun God and Chhathi Mata, observing strict fast.
On Saturday morning, the devotees, especially women, will offer ‘Arghya’ and chant mantras and hymns from the Rig Veda and break the fast after the Sun rises.
Just before Diwali, the Nagaland Bhojpuri Samaj had appealed to the Chhath devotees to observe the festival at their respective homes in order to avoid large gathering during this COVID-19 pandemic.
It may be mentioned that the Nagaland Bhojpuri Samaj used to make elaborate arrangements for the celebration of the festival at Dhansiri River but this year it had declared that no such celebration will take place at river banks.
Following this, most of the devotees made preparations to celebrate the festival in their respective homes, while many went to neighbouring Karbi Anglong, especially to Lahorijan and Khatkhati to celebrate the festival. Most of the families had also left for their respective villages in Bihar, UP and Jharkhand to celebrate the festival.
(Page News Service)