Saturday, November 13, 2010

Happy Chhath

Friday evening we bid farewell to the setting sun, and of course there are rituals that go with that. Binodji's wife was in the water. Saturday morning we welcomed the sun. Binodji's wife was in the water again as per the ritual.

This was in Scarsdale. I call it upstate. Binodji and I are from the same town in Nepal. He has a house up there. His cousin Pawan and I are neighbors in the city. I got a ride to Scarsdale in his car, his wife accompanying. That was Friday afternoon. More people showed up later in the evening. A few showed up past midnight.

Chhath is the top festival in the Madhesi/Maithil culture. The biggest version is along the bank of the River Ganga in Patna, India. Patna is the capital of the Indian state of Bihar were I was born. I was born in Darbhanga. Binodji's wife is from Darbhanga.

ANTA Convention: Emotional Bath
Happy Holi

Chhath puja (also called Dala Chhath) is an ancient Hindu festival dedicated to Surya, the Hindu Sun God, and therefore is also known as Surya Shashti.
Millions pray to setting sun on Chhath - Hindustan Times Millions of people across Bihar, mostly women, fasted, sang traditional songs and offered prayers to the setting sun to celebrate the festival of Chhath on Friday. Devotees, locally known as 'varti', wore new clothes, and sang folk songs as they prayed to the sun god and lit small diyas, or earthen lamps, that were set afloat on rivers, lakes and other water bodies. Busy roads to narrow lanes and river banks, ponds and makeshift water bodies had been cleaned and decorated for the occasion. The four-day-long Chhath began on Wednesday when devotees took a dip in the river, a tradition known as 'nahai khai'. It was followed by the ritual of 'kharna' Thursday when sweet dishes were prepared and distributed among relatives and friends. Married women fast for 36 hours during the course of the festival. Devotees traditionally offer wheat, milk, sugar cane, bananas and coconuts to the sun..... In Patna and other towns in the state, all roads leading to river banks were decorated and cleaned for the devotees to perform 'arghya' or oblations to the sun. .... Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who had postponed the campaign for the last round of six phase state assembly polls, is celebrating the festival with his family members. Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad spent the day with his family as his wife and former chief minister Rabri Devi observed a fast on the occasion. Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan along with his wife Rina Paswan took part in Chhath celeberations at his daughter's in-laws residence here. The festival also saw a rare show of harmony with people cutting across social barriers gathering to celebrate Chhath in villages and towns. The festival concludes Saturday with devotees worshipping the rising sun. Chhath is celebrated six days after Diwali.

1 comment:

Digital Subway said...

celebrating Chhath in a swimming pool is definitely the new invention. You guys should file for a place in Guinness Book of World Records. :D