Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan actively engaged in Chhath Puja celebrations in Odisha’s Sambalpur district, participating in rituals and offering prayers. The visuals depicted him performing the sacred act of ‘Araghya’ to the rising sun at the Chhath Ghat, receiving a tilak from the priest as a crucial part of the puja. Across the nation, devotees observed the culmination of the four-day Chhath Puja festival by offering the second ‘Araghya’ to the rising sun on Monday morning, with the first one performed on Sunday evening.
In Patna’s Digha Ganga Ghat and Delhi’s Gautam Nagar Central Park, large congregations of devotees were seen expressing their devotion during the morning worship to the rising sun, emphasizing the widespread celebration of Chhath Puja. The festival celebrated with enthusiasm and considered a symbol of purity, goodwill, and faith, involves worshiping the setting and rising sun.
Chhath Puja is an annual festival celebrated with great fervor in states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Bengal, and has also found resonance in the national capital due to the significant population from these states. Devotees undertake fasting and sun worship to wish for the long lives and well-being of their family members, along with prayers for the fulfillment of their expectations and endeavors.
The origins of the Chhath festival are believed to have started in the hilly regions of Nepal after the political changes of 1990, coinciding with the restoration of democracy in the Himalayan nation. The festival underscores the belief that heartfelt desires and prayers bring blessings. During the fasting period, devotees adhere to consuming only pure foods, emphasizing cleanliness throughout the ritual.
Notably, Chhath Puja boasts a high participation rate of women and is celebrated with grandeur, providing an occasion for individuals to take a break from their regular household chores and rejuvenate their spirits.