Bhubaneswar, Nov 15: Chhath Puja, a revered Hindu festival dedicated to the worship of Surya Dev is around the corner. This ancient celebration has deep historical roots in the Indian subcontinent, particularly in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, and West Bengal. Devotees offer prayers to Surya during Chhath Puja to express gratitude for life's blessings and seek the fulfillment of special wishes.
The occasion is devoted to Chhathi Maiya, the sister of Lord Surya and the sixth form of Devi Prakriti. In the Hindu calendar, it occurs on the sixth day of the lunar month of Kartika, or Vikram Samvat, six days after Deepavali.
The four-day rituals encompass sacred bathing, fasting, standing in water, and presenting prasad and arghya to the rising and setting sun. Some followers also embark on processions to riverbanks. However, this year, there is uncertainty regarding the festival dates.
Chhath Puja 2023 will be celebrated with grandeur, commencing on Friday, November 17, and concluding on Monday, November 20, according to Drik Panchang. Below are the dates and auspicious timings for each of the four days of the festival:
Day 1: Nahay Khay (17th November 2023)
On this auspicious day, known as Nahay Khay, women observing the Chhath vrat consume only one meal, and devotees partake in a sacred bath. According to Drik Panchang, sunrise is at 06:45 am, and sunset is at 17:27 pm.
Day 2: Kharna and Lohanda (18th November 2023)
Kharna, the second day, involves no water fast from sunrise to sunset. Devotees break their fast and offer food to the Sun God after sunset. Sunrise is at 06:46 am, and sunset is at 17:26 pm.
Day 3: Chhath Puja or Sandhya Arghya (19th November 2023)
On the third day, Sandhya Arghya, devotees offer Arghya to the sun at dusk, and the fast continues throughout the night. Sunrise is at 06:46 am, and sunset is at 17:26 pm.
Day 4: Usha Arghya or Parana Day (20th November 2023)
The fourth and final day, Usha Arghya, is dedicated to offering Arghya to the rising sun. The 36-hour fast concludes after offerings are made to the Sun God. Sunrise is at 06:47 am, and sunset is at 17:26 pm, according to Drik Panchang.