Chhath is one of the major Hindu festivals celebrated for four days. A prominent part of the Hindu Vedic culture, the Chhath festival is more popularly celebrated in the Indian states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh. Chhath puja falls twice every year in the months of Chaitra (March-April) and Kartika (October-November) as per the Hindu calendar. Chhath puja is dedicated to the Sun God also known as Surya Devta, and Chhathi Maiya, known as Shashti Devi. The source of all power, the Sun God, is celebrated and thanked for supporting life on earth and blessing devotees with prosperity, positivity, and good health. It is believed that the rays of the sun alone can heal most health conditions, no matter how severe.
Chhath puja 2022 follows a rigorous four-day schedule that includes fasting, praying to the rising and setting sun, bathing in the holy waters, and meditating. Chhath, also known as Surya Sashti, falls on the sixth day of Diwali in the Kartik month as per the Hindu Lunar calendar. In a happy festive vibe, women celebrate the festival by singing folk songs and observing the difficult Nir Jal Vrat, a fast without water. It is believed that women who complete this strenuous fast with all traditional forms of worship will have their wishes granted.
When is Chhath Puja in 2022?
The Chhath puja date falls on the 30th of October, 2022.
Rituals and traditions of Chhath Puja 2022
The Chhath festival was predominantly celebrated in the state of Bihar but is now gaining popularity in other states of India among the Bihari migrants. Steep in Vedic beliefs, Chhath Puja mainly consists of fasting, preparing delicacies for prasad, and praying to the Sun God along the banks of river Ganga, Yamuna, or any clean water body.
The first day of Chhath puja 2022 is solemnised by bathing in the holy waters of Ganga to cleanse the body for the ritual of preparing prasad. The next day, devotees performing the puja observe a Nir Jala fast (without water) till sunset. Known as Kharna by locals, on this day ‘kheer’ is prepared as a prasad and is eaten after breaking the fast at night. After eating this sweet delicacy, the fast is resumed for another 36 hours, which ends on the evening of the third day of the Chhath festival.
On the third evening of Chhath, devotees offer flowers and light small earthen diyas to the God that is placed on the river banks after which the 36-hour-long fast is broken. Once the ritual of offering Arghya to the setting sun is complete, hymns and praises are sung in the form of folk songs for the Surya Dev. Women chanting prayers and singing hymns all while lost in a trance-like devotion along the river banks is an experience to witness. Food items like rice, sugarcane, thekua, and fruits are placed in a bamboo basket known as a soop, before offering it to God.
The last day of Usha Arghya of Chhath Puja 2022 is believed to be a ceremonious affair. Final prayers are said to thank the Sun God for his bountiful blessing on Earth. Family and friends visit the devotee's house to take blessings, and consume prasad. This auspicious occasion marks the end of the Chhath festival for the year.
Day 1: Nahay Khay
On the first day of Chhath Puja 2022, devotees take a holy bath, clean their homes and prepare food for God. Having a bath with holy water is one of the most important rituals of Chhath Puja on the first day of Nahay Khay.
Day 2: Kharna
The second day of Chhat Puja 2022 requires devotees to observe a day-long fast without a drop of water. This fast ends after sunset, after which offerings like kheer, ghee roti, and rice are prepared. After consuming the prasad, another 36-hour fast without water is undertaken by devotees.
Day 3: Sandhya Arghya
On the third day of Chhath Puja, Sandhya Arghya, also known as evening offerings, are done. Prasad in the form of thekuas, coconut, bananas, and other seasonal fruits are offered to the lord while giving Arghya to the setting sun. This is done along the banks of a river, pond, or any clean water body.
Day 4: Usha Arghya
The last day of Chhath Puja 2022 involves assembling near a river bank or water body to offer prayers to the rising sun god. Fruits, sweets, and water are offered to the god before devotees break their fast. The fast is broken by eating prasad, known as Parana, which is then distributed among friends and family members.
Celebrations and festivities during the Chhath festival
Chhath puja 2022 date falls on the 30th of October and is one of the biggest festivals of the residents of Bihar. Thousands of devotees, along with family members, celebrate this four-day-long sacred festival. Amidst the extreme fasting, the occasion of Chhath is observed with immense fun and devotion. Families are seen wearing vibrant new traditional outfits. Speakers along the streets play devotional folk songs while women and children cheerfully revel in the festive spirit.
Dedicated to the Sun God and his wives Usha (first ray of light) and Pratyusha (last rays of light), devotees wake up before sunrise to prepare a variety of delicious offerings as prasad for God. Prayers and hymns are sung by elderly women of the family, thanking Surya Devta and mother Earth for blessing us with an abundance of good health. Mothers pray for the long and healthy life of their children. Sweet prasads like kheer, thekua, and rice laddu are prepared and consumed by friends and family after offering it to God.
Love Chhath Puja prasad? Learn a little more about why Thekua Is Bihar’s Untold Sweet Tale That Unravels Every Chhath Puja.