Celebrated In: India in Winter Season
Celebrated By: Bhojpuri (Hindu)
Chhath Puja is a festival of reverence to the solar deity, the only festival in the world where devotees offer salutations to the setting and rising Sun. Chhath Puja is performed on Kartik Shukla Shashti i.e. the 6th day of the month of Kartik in the Hindu Calendar, exactly 6 days after Deepawali.
This falls around the month of October-November as per the Gregorian calendar. A week after Diwali, the festival of lights, comes the festival Chhath. For one night and day, the people practically live on the banks of a river or any other water body in the neighbourhood where a ritual offering is made to the Sun god. The word Chhath denotes the number six and thus the name itself serves as a reminder of this auspicious day on the festival almanac.
The venue for this unique festival is the river bank and since the Ganges traverses the countryside of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Bengal in India like a lifeline, it is but appropriate that the banks of this river should be the ideal prayer location. Chhath is considered a means to thank the Sun for bestowing the bounties of life on earth as also for fulfilling particular wishes. Chhath is a Hindu festival but many Muslim families also participate in this holy festival in certain places.