Chhath Puja holds immense significance in Hindu traditions, where devotees engage in prayers to the Sun God and Chhathi Maiya, believed to be the sister of the Sun God, paying homage to both the rising and setting sun.

An integral Hindu festival, Chhath Puja spans four days during which devotees express their reverence to the Sun God, also known as Surya Dev. Widely celebrated in states like Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, and West Bengal, this ancient Indian festival commences on the sixth day of the Kartik month in the Hindu calendar. Aparnna Patiil, an astrology and numerology expert from All India Institute of Occult Science and True Vastu, shares insights into the significance of Chhath Puja, noting that it involves worshiping the Sun Lord, his sister Chhathi Maiya/Shashti Maa, and his wives Pratyusha and Usha. Devotees observe a four-day festival, offering Arghya to both the setting and rising Sun, with many opting for a 36-hour fast. In 2023, Chhath Puja is scheduled to commence on Friday, November 17, and conclude on Monday, November 20.

In Vedic Astrology, Aparnna Patiil underscores the importance of the Sun as a vital planet symbolizing the soul, father, vitality, power, and profession. Chhathi Maiya is revered as the benefactor and protector of children, blessing devotees with offspring. By presenting water/Arghya to the setting sun, homage is paid to forefathers, while offering Arghya to the rising sun seeks blessings for children’s well-being. The performance of Chhath Puja is believed to bestow blessings equivalent to offering Arghya to the Sun daily for a year.

Chhath Puja 2023 involves the following rituals over the four days:

Day 1: Nahay Khay – November 17, 2023 Devotees partake in satvik or pure food, traditionally including bottlegourd sabzi and rice.

Day 2: Kharana – November 18, 2023 Fasting devotees pray to Chhathi Maa and prepare sweet kheer with jaggery, dal, and chawal as prasad. The fast begins, excluding water consumption until the next half day.

Day 3: Sandhya Argya – November 19, 2023 Devotees offer Arghya to the setting sun in the evening.

Day 4: Subah Ka Argya – November 20, 2023 Devotees present Arghya to the rising sun, followed by prasad consumption, concluding their fast.

Dos and Don’ts for Chhath Puja 2023:

Dos:

  1. Cleanse and sanctify homes.
  2. Wash hands before handling puja items.
  3. Ensure cleanliness while making prasad.
  4. Use sendha namak (rock salt) for cooking.
  5. Wear new, clean clothes during Arghya.

Don’ts:

  1. Avoid using common salt for prasad.
  2. Refrain from non-vegetarian food if fasting.
  3. Abstain from drinking or smoking during puja.
  4. Prevent children from consuming fruits in the puja thali until the festival concludes.
  5. Wear unwashed clothes during the celebration.

Observing these rituals and guidelines is believed to bring prosperity and good health to loved ones during Chhath Puja.

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