Chhath Puja 2020 is a major Hindu festival dedicated to the Sun God and his sister Chhathi, celebrated with much pomp and fervour in Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal states of India, and the Madhesh region of Nepal. On this day, devotees thank the deities for their blessings in the form of resources of life and pray to them in hopes of fulfillment of their desires. This festival that spans the length of four days include fasting, praying, and offering water and prasad to the rising and setting Sun from a holy river or any other water body. Chhath Puja 2020 occurs twice a year, and falls in the summer month of Chaitra (March-April) and winter month of Karthik (October-November). The celebration of Chhath Puja 2020 will begin on the Chaturthi (fourth day) of the Shukla Paksha of the month and end four days later, on the Saptami (seventh day).
Goddess Chhathi is also known by the name, Goddess Katyayani whom we worship on the sixth day of Navratri. Amongst the four-day rituals and traditions of this festival the sixth day is the hardest and strictest for devotees, therefore the name Chhath Puja 2020. The celebrations of the summer months fall on the sixth day of the Chaitra month, during the Chaitra Navratri, and are therefore called Chaiti Chhath Puja 2020. Another name for this festival is Yamuna Chhath Puja 2020 or Yamuna Jayanti as it is believed that Goddess Yamuna was incarnated on Earth, on this day. On the other hand, the Chhath Puja 2020 falling in the winter month of Kartik occurs soon after Diwali, and is thus known as Kartiki Chhath Puja 2020. Kartiki Chhath is the major celebration that devotees observe with utmost faith and devotion.
Let us learn more about the festival of Chhath Puja 2020 in detail, beginning with the dates for both Chaiti Chhath Puja 2020 and Kartiki Chhath Puja 2020.
|Chhath Puja 2020||Date||Day||Tithi Begins||Tithi Ends|
|Chaiti Chhath Puja 2020/ Yamuna Chhath Puja 2020||30 March 2020||Monday||02:01 AM on 30 March||03:14 AM on 31 March|
|Chhath Puja 2020||Date||Day||Event||Tithi|
|Chhath Puja 2020 Day 1||18 November||Wednesday||Nahai Khai||Chaturthi|
|Chhath Puja 2020 Day 2||19 November||Thursday||Kharna||Panchami|
|Chhath Puja 2020 Day 3||20 November||Friday||Sandhya Arghya||Shashthi|
|Chhath Puja 2020 Day 4||21 November||Saturday||Suryodaya Arghya||Saptami|
People from different states call Chhath Puja with different names as per the variations in their regional languages. Some of these are as follows: Chhath Parva, Dala Chhath, Surya Shashti, Chhath Mahaparv, Dala Puja, Surya Puja, and so on. Though the names of the festival are different, but the emotions behind celebrating Chhath Puja 2020 are the same.
Chhat Puja is celebrated in the honor of Lord Surya, by paying reverence to the Sun, and his sister Chhati. Chhath Puja 2020 is one of the most difficult fasts of Hinduism. This festival continues up to 4 days and strict fasting is observed by all the devotees. They observe Nirjala Vrat (without having water) for up to 2 days.
Chhath Puja 2020 is celebrated in the honor of Lord Sun, the ultimate source of energy and life. It is a way to thank the Sun for his divine energies, and its help in sustaining life on earth. That is why Chhath Puja 2020 is also known as Surya Shashti.
The Sun is that Hindu deity who is actually visible to us, is tangible. Lord Sun arrives daily to spread light, positivity, and life on earth. The rising and setting of the Sun, both play a very important role in maintaining the cycle of life. Apart from providing the necessary energy for our survival, solar energy is also very beneficial for our health. It improves the activity of white blood cells. The Sun is also the only and great source of Vitamin D. As per beliefs, performing the Surya Puja greatly reduces the feelings of anger, ego, jealousy, and other negative feelings. Several hymns and benefits of worshiping Lord Sun are also described in Rigveda. Reciting these hymns and performing the Puja with full dedication helps one attain the maximum benefits during Chhath Puja 2020.
As mentioned earlier, Chhath Puja 2020 is associated with the Sun and his sister Chhathi, who is said to be an incarnation of Goddess Parvati. This legend is from the Brahma Vaivarta Purana.
Story goes, King Priyavrat, son of Swayambhu Manu and his wife Queen Malini had no children. The desolate king approached Maharishi Kashyap for a solution, who advised the King to perform the Putrakaamesthi Yagya. Priyavrat followed the Maharishi’s orders, and received a divine Kheer from the yagya, after eating which, the Queen gave birth to a baby. Unfortunately, their son was stillborn. Grief-stricken, the queen wishes to end her life and rushes to the nearby river. As she reached the coast, a woman suddenly appeared in front of the queen and asked her to give up the foolish notion of suicide. Instead, the woman introduced herself to the queen and explained to her that she was Goddess Chhathi. The goddess encouraged the queen to pray to her, and as the queen observed strict fast in the name of Goddess Chhathi, a pleased Goddess blessed the Queen and her son started breathing again. Ever since then, mothers pray to the Goddess on this festival for the longevity and safety of their children, while childless couples pray to her in hopes of a boon in the form of a child.
Two other legends are also associated with this celebration of Chhath Puja 2020, from the Hindu epic, Mahabharata. These are:
Draupadi, the wife of Pandavas was a great devotee of Lord Sun. She used to worship Sun with utmost faith and devotion. Because of this reason, she was also blessed with the divine powers of Sun that could treat the diseases like leprosy and skin problems. Draupadi started the tradition of Chhath Puja to honor Lord Sun.
Warrior Karna, the son of Lord Sun also used to perform Chhat Puja for honoring the powers of his father, Surya. Then, all the followers of Karna started performing Surya Puja for honoring Sun
Chhath Puja 2020 is a four-day long festival, with each day having a special significance. Know more about these special four days of Chhath Puja 2020 by reading about them in detail.
'Nahai Khai' is the name given to the first day of Chhath Puja 2020. The word 'Nahai' refers to bathing and 'Khai' refers to 'eating'. The devotees first take a bath in a holy river such as Ganga, Yamuna,Saraswati, etc. Then, they bring the holy water of river to their homes for preparing of Prasad or offerings for the Lord Sun.
The second day of Chhath Puja 2020 is known as 'Kharna'. Devotees observe a day-long fast without even having water, till late evening. They break their fast after performing Puja and offering Prasad to the Sun just before sunset. This offering mainly includes Kheer (sweet rice porridge) and fruits.
Third day of Chhath Puja 2020 is known as Sandhya Arghya. Another day of whole day fasting is observed by the devotees on the third day of Chhath Puja 2020. Special preparations are done for the evening ritual of 'Sandhya Arghya' during which, special Arghya (offering water to the Sun) and offerings are presented to the setting Sun. These offerings include coconut, fruits, and flowers, which are presented on a bamboo tray. All the family members assemble on the bank of some holy river or pond and offer the special Arghya together, while standing knee deep in the holy water.
Fourth day of the festival of Chhath Puja 2020 is known as Usha Arghya or Parana day. The final morning ritual or Bihaniya Arghya is performed by the devotees. They all gather on the banks of holy river, along with their families and perform the rituals to receive the blessings of rising Sun. After performing the ritual, they break the fast by having ginger and sugar. This marks the end of the four-day long Mahaparva – Chhath Puja 2020.
Chhath songs are sung by ladies while celebrating Surya Puja, which are extremely popular from the areas of Bihar and Jharkhand. These Chhath songs are considered to be a holy part of Chhath Puja 2020.
Now, let us follow all the rituals and celebrate Chhath Puja 2020 with full enthusiasm and joy.
Being one of the most difficult festivals of Hindu religion, strict rules and regulations are followed by the devotees during Chhath Puja 2020. It is believed that a small mistake while performing the Chhath Puja 2020 is considered inauspicious and is said to incur the wrath of Goddess Chhathi or Chhathi Maiyya. Therefore, let us discuss the rules and regulations for Chhath Puja 2020, before beginning the celebrations and follow them rigorously.
Celebrate the festival of Chhath Puja 2020 with full enthusiasm and joy while following these rules and gain the blessings of Lord Sun and Goddess Chhathi. While Lord Sun offers immense power and strength to his devotees, Goddess Chhathi blesses them with children, and protects and aids their kids.