India is a land of myriad cultures and colourful festivals that grabs the attention of travel enthusiasts from time immemorial. One such festival of India that hails from ancient times is Chhath Puja whose name is ideally derived from the numerical number 6. Well, there are scientific reasons behind why the number 6. Wanna know? Check out these hidden facts about Chhath Puja that might pique your curiosity. Ahan! Before getting on to the factual information, we would like to give you a brief overview of this vibrant Indian festival which is celebrated with great enthusiasm in several states spreading across the country. It is also the most eco-friendly festivals in the world which is exemplary in real sense. So here’s all you need to know about Chhath Puja’s origin, festivity and grandeur. Scroll down!
The ritual of worshipping Sun God is universal as the traces were also witnessed in the old Egyptian and Babylonian civilizations. Apart from Chhathi Maiyya, the old Egyptian divine force of creation, Amun is also accepted to live inside the Sun. So is the divinity of Akan maker - Nyame and the Dogon God of Creation - Nommo. In the same way, Egyptians too worshipped the Sun God directly. They were perhaps among the first monotheistic religions known as Atenism who introduced the worshipping of Sun God.
As per ancient belief, the festival of Chhath puja was first performed by Karna, the son of Lord Surya and Kunti. Karna was the ruler of Anga Desh, which is now known as Bhagalpur, Bihar. This was one of the reasons why this festival is predominantly celebrated in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
This celebration is observed by Nepalese and Indian individuals, alongside their diaspora.
Chhath is an old Hindu Vedic celebration historically native to the Madhesh region and Mithila district of Bihar, Jharkhand and Eastern Uttar Pradesh territories of India. While the correct origin of Chhath celebration remains a mystery, however, there are legends that offer two different perspectives. Take a look!
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One of the mythological references suggests that since Lord Rama was related to Sun God, he on his arrival in Ayodhya after his 14 years of exile viewed a quick appreciation for the Sun God. He along with his consort, Sita observed a strict fast during the Shukla Paksha in Kartika month. They broke the fast at the break of dawn on following day exactly when the celebration of Chhath Puja takes places. It is believed that this ritual observed by Lord Rama advanced into the very popular Chhath Puja.
Another legend that is noticeable says that Karna - son of Kunti used to religiously offer prayers to Sun God while remaining in the water. He used to later distribute prasadam among the poor. This began the tradition and people started observing Chhath Puja as the major festival.
1. Chhath Puja is the Only Vedic Festival which is Celebrated in India: One of the most traditional Hindu celebrations frequently celebrated on earth, the puja first came into notice in the Rig Veda which contains hymns venerating the Sun God and portrays the same ceremonies.
2. Chhath Puja Hails Back to the Era of Mahabharata: Apart from the legend of Karna, it is trusted that Draupadi was an impassioned lover of the Sun god. Due to her devotion towards Lord Surya, she acquired special power that helped her in curing even the deadliest of illnesses. This power and strong will of Draupadi empowered Pandavas to defeat the Kauravas in the Battle of Kurukshetra and regain their lost kingdom.
3. Ceremonies of Chhath Puja are Backed by Logical Reasoning: According to researchers, the procedure and traditions observed during Chhath Puja helps in energy infusion and eliminates negativity from the body and mind of the devotees These rituals were observed even by sages in the times of yore as it helped them in regularising the Pranic flow which primarily controls negative emotions such as greed, jealousy and anger.
4. Chatth Puja has Proven Health Benefits which are Backed by Science: Planned around the ideal ingestion of Vitamin D and Calcium into the body alongside other medical advantages. Chhath Puja is generally celebrated at the beginning of winter. The worship of the Sun God, at the beginning of winter, considers the assimilation of Vitamin D (required for the retention of calcium and the avoidance of rickets in kids and osteomalacia in grown-ups) from UVB beams which are at the peak during sunset and sunrise. Vitamin D is then responsible for retaining calcium from food. It prepares and stimulates the body for the months ahead.
5. Chatth Puja helps in Hormone Secretion: The ceremonies of Chhath Puja are organized in such a thoughtful manner that they revitalize a reasonable secretion of the hormones of the body. Worshipping the sun at sunrise guarantees that devotees can obtain ideal vitality from the sun and securely harness it.
Tracing its roots back to the Early Vedic Era, Chhath Puja is definitely one of the most thoughtful festivals that ensures wellness and prosperity. You can plan a trip to Bihar to grab the kliedocsopic view of this beautiful festival of India.
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Q 1. What is the story behind Chhath Puja?
A 1. According to the mythological references in Mahabharata, Chhath Puja was first performed by Karna who was the tragic hero and the spiritual son of Lord Sun and Princess Kunti. He used to stand in water and offered rigorous prayers to the Lord. Also, Draupadi and her five husbands used to chant mantras from Rig Veda and also performed the rituals of Chhath Puja to regain their lost kingdom.
Q 2. Who first started Chhath Puja?
A 2. According to the mythological references in Mahabharata, Chhath Puja was first performed by Karna.
Q 3. What is the special dish of Chhath Puja?
A 3. Thekua - a regional speciality of Bihar is the special dish that is prepared during Chhath Puja.
Q 4. Can girls do Chhath Puja?
A 4. Chhath Puja is majorly observed by ladies.
Q 5. Why is Chhath Puja celebrated after Diwali?
A 5. Since Chhath Puja is celebrated on the sixth day of the lunar month of Kartika, it falls just after Diwali which is another popular festival observed in same month. Also, the anecdote in Ramayana suggests that Chhath Puja was first observed by Lord Rama soon after his arrival to Ayodhya which is observed as Diwali.
Q 6. Is Chhath a harvest festival?
A 6. Chhath is basically the post harvest festival.