Nagpur: Chhath Puja, also known as Pratihar, is a festival celebrated in many parts of the country especially in regions of Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh etc. On this day offerings are made to the Sun Lord and his wife and devotees seek their blessings.
The Chhath puja starts on the fourth day after Diwali, but it’s on the sixth day that ‘Chhath’ is actually celebrated. It is an ancient Hindu festival dedicated to the Sun God, and is observed for a period of four days. This year (i.e. 2017), Chhath, which is the third day of the celebration, falls on October 26. Many brethren hailing from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand etc observed this festival with religious fervor and zeal. They offered their prayers and sought blessings from the Sun God Surya and his wife Usha. The word Chhath translates to ‘sixth’ in Nepali, Maithili and Bhojpuri languages and, according to the Hindu lunar Vikram Sambat calendar, it is celebrated on the sixth day of the month of Kartika. On the first day of the puja, known as the Nahay Khay, people visit the holy water bodies and take a dip. In Nagpur, two prominent water bodies chosen for Chhath Puja was Ambazhari Lake and Police Line Takli Lake.
While speaking to media personnel, Ramakant Pande, an official from Central Excise office said that married couples are supposed to perform the puja. The devotees fast for 36 long hours after which alone is the fast broken. On the fourth day marks the end of the festival and offering are make to the rising sun. Chhath Puja is also known as Pratihar, Dala Chhath, Chhathi and Surya Shashthi.
For breaking the fast a special delicacy is made which is a sweet Poori called Thetua. In olden days, wheat was washed and dried and made into flour on a stone grinder (present in every house then). Nowadays, it is made into flour by going to the flour mill early in the morning when the machine is cleaned thoroughly and then this wheat is made into flour. The sweet Poori is made by adding jiggery to the dough (though nowadays even sugar is added).
According to a Pundit, the Muhurat timings for Chhath Puja this year is as follows:
Sunrise on Chhath Puja Day :- 06:28
Sunset on Chhath Puja Day :- 17:40
Shashthi Tithi Begins:- 09:37 on October 25, 2017
Shashthi Tithi Ends:- 12:15 on October 26, 2017.
The members of Chhath Puja Committee at Police Line Takli Lake said that this is the 13th year when this celebration is organized in this lake. With the support from Nagpur Municipal Corporation and with the support of the High Court Hanuman Mandal, this year the Chhath Puja was organized at Police Line Takli Lake. The Fire College supported this puja with volunteers with the safety jackets, rope, fire extinguishers and other equipments for crisis and emergencies. The In-Charge of Traffic Department also made necessary arrangements including traffic policemen to ensure proper parking and smooth flow of traffic.
The Chhath Puja Samiti includes Pramod Singh Thakur, Roshan Singh Thakur, Kushal Mishra, Pankaj Tiwari, Roshan Thakur, Pawan Tiwari, Sumit Tiwari, Sanjay Singh Raju Thakur, Sunil Agrawal, Sanjay Mohod, Bhupendra Singh and others. The youngsters worked very hard in cleaning the greenery and wild shrubs. The water was treated with bleaching powder and alum powder. The pathway was cleaned and sides painted with lime powder.
The In-Charge of Police Headquarters RPI Ramanand Singh and MLA of West Nagpur Sudhakarrao Deshmukh were some of the prominent visitors to the venue.