Chhath Puja 2023 – Festival of Emotions

Chhath Puja 2023 (Surya Shashti) is a 4-day long hindu festival dedicated to God Sun (Surya Dev) and his sister (Shashti Devi) which is celebrated twice in a year. One in summer Chaitra month called ‘Chaiti Chhath Puja’ (25 – 28 March 2023) and 2nd in winter Kartika month called ‘Kartik Chhath Puja’ (17 – 20 November 2023). Devotees celebrate with great devotion and in many traditional ways perform Puja, all rituals, holy bath, Clean house, wear ethnic dress, make local cuisines, singing and much more. It is celebrated all over India (mainly in Bihar, Jharkhand, MP, UP, West Bengal, Delhi) and in Nepal.

chhat puja 2023, sandhya arghya usha arghya on ghat

Why is God Sun and Shashti Devi worshiped on Chhath Puja ?

Devotees (especially married women have Fast) worship God Sun, give Arghya (offer water) and perform Chhath Puja for the long life of their husbands. And women worship Shashti Devi for the good health and prosperity of their childrens, who do not have children also worship to get blessings for the child.  Women wear traditional dresses, adorn with ornaments and beautify themselves with all religious things. Married women put a long ‘maang mein Sindoor’ (Vermilion) from nose to head (which shows their great affection towards husbands – for their long life, good health and prosperity).

chhath puja 2023, men women devotees performing puja giving arghya to Surya Dev Chhathi Mata

How is Chhath Puja Celebrated ?

Chhath Puja is also called ‘Surya Shashti or Pratihar or Chhathi’ because it is worshiped on the 6th day. The Chhath Puja is celebrated 4-days long with all rituals. Devotees men and women have Fast, wear traditional-ethnic dresses, make local cuisines (Thekua, Kheer & more), perform Puja while standing in rivers & ponds.

Day 1 -called “Nahay-Khay” [17th Nov. 2023]

Bathing and Feasting Day – Devotees (women called Parvaitin) take holy bath in nearby river or pond, worship and prepare ‘sattvic food (Lauki-Daal-Bhaat made of Bottle gourd, lentils, rice)’, clean the houses. Then go to the markets and purchase all required items for Puja (like fruits, diyas, clothes, Tokri, etc.). In the evening, prepared food is offered to God as Bhog and then devotees have that feast. The Sunrise time for this day is 6:45 AM and Sunset time is 5:27 PM.

Day 2 -called “Kharna or Lohanda” [18th Nov. 2023]

Devotees take holy baths and have fast all day, women prepare “Rasiyav Roti” (‘kheer’ made of jaggery or sugarcane juice). In the evening after Sunset, Prasad is prepared which is first offered to God, then distributed to friends and relatives and breaks the Fast with having “Rasiya-Roti”. After having this feast, the 36-hour longNirjala Fast” begins [18th evening – 19th evening – 20th morning].

chhath puja 2023 people performing puja on ghat, giving arghya to God Sun

Day 3 -called “Sandhya Arghya or Surya Shashti” [19th Nov. 2023]

The Main ritual starts, devotees (especially women) gather at Ghats of nearby rivers or ponds. In the evening, devotees stand inside water up to their waist and offer water (give “Sandhya Arghya” to Surya Dev). Then after Old ladies recite the ‘Chhathi Vrat Katha’ and all married women with family members listen to the story and sing Chhathi Maiyya devotional songs, light Diyas in Patravali put flowers and flow into rivers. They also perform ritual called “Kosi Bharai” in which they take 5 to 7 sugarcanes, tie them and create a mandap, under which Diyas are lightened up and Thekua, Khijri, Tikri, Rice laddus, fruits are offered, all offerings carried in a basket made of bamboo. This ritual is also performed the next morning before sunrise. The Sunset time is 5:22 PM.

Day 4 -called “Usha Arghya or Bhor Arghya” [20th Nov. 2023]

The last day of Surya Shashti, devotees offer water (give Usha Arghya) to the rising Sun in the morning. After giving Arghya to God Sun, performing all rituals, women break the 36-hour long fast this is called Parana. And seeks blessings for the protection, good health and prosperity of the family. The Sunrise time is 6:39 AM.

chhath puja 2023, nahay khay thali, items need for chhath puja

Important Items for Chhath Puja

  • Bamboo Basket (baans ki tokri)
  • Copper Utensils (glass, plate, round pot) – to give Arghya to Sun
  • Gangajal, Milk, Coconut, Honey, Sweets, 5 – 7 Sugarcane with leaf,  
  • Diyas, Agarbatti, kumkum, Sindoor (Vermilion), Kapur (camphor), 
  • Banana, Apple, Singhara, white radish (mooli), Suthni, Supari, sweet potato.
  • Jaggery, Flour of Wheat & Rice, Turmeric and Ginger.
  • Prasad – Thekua, Tikri, Khijri, Rice Laddoos, Maalpua, Kheer-Poori
chhath puja 2023, women performing puja lighting diyas giving arghya to God Sun

History of Chhath Puja

In ancient scriptures, it is found that Shashti Devi is the sister of God Sun. It is also believed that Shashti Devi is the daughter of God Brahma. When God Brahma was creating the universe he himself divided it into two parts, the right part becomes Human and the left part becomes nature. Then later nature divided itself into 6 parts and the 6th part was Shashti Devi (called Chhathi Devi or Chhati Maiyya).

In Ramayan, When Ram and Sita return to Ayodhya, Diwali is celebrated and after that Ramrajya is established, then on the 6th day God Ram and Sita perform “Surya Shashti or Chhath Puja” and they are blessed with children Luv and Kush. So after every Diwali on 6th Chhath Puja is celebrated.

In Mahabharat, Kunti Devi performed the Chhath Puja and she was blessed with son Karn. Draupadi also performed the Chhath Puja to overcome the obstacles and win the Kurukshetra war.

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FAQs :

When is Chhath Puja 2023 date ?

Kartik Chhath Puja 2023 is 4-day long festival (parv) starting from 17th November to 20th November 2023. This Kartik Chhath Puja is celebrated after 6 days of Diwali on Shukla Shashti day.

Why offer water to Sunset & Sunrise in Chhath Puja ?

In Chhath Puja, Sandhya Arghya (Sunset) and UshaArghya (Sunrise), water is offered to God Sun. It means if anything falls then it will rise surely (like in life if the situation is not well, then it will get well, just have patience and faith in God).

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