Chhath Puja or Dala Puja is mostly about worshipping the Sun God or Surya. As per traditional Hindu calendar Chhath Puja is celebrated in the month of Kartik in the lunar fortnight on the 6th day or ‘Shasthi’. According to English Gregorian calendar, Chhath Puja falls in the month of October – November, exact six days after Diwali, the festival of lights.
This year Chhath Puja will take place on November 17. Sandhya Arghya evening puja will take place on November 17 during sunset, and Suryodaya Arghya morning puja will take place on November 18 during sunrise.
The major Chhath puja riverside rituals take place in the river ghats or riverbanks. Devotees come to complete their riverside rituals during at dawn and dusk. The significant Chhath puja rituals include rigorous fasting, and offerings to Lord Surya. Devotees should arrange all the puja samagri prior to the puja day.
Chhath puja samagri mostly include these items:-
1. Deity or picture of Lord Surya, Chhathi Maiya Calender
2. Akshata (Raw Unbroken Rice), Curd, Milk, Roli, Moli / Mauli, red and yellow Sindoor (Vermilion)
3. Wheat for Prasadam, Banana Ghaur, Dry Fruits, Fruits, Jaggery, Sugar, Sugar Candy, Coconut, Clove, Honey, Red and Yellow Flowers, Vegetables
4. Grind white Rice, Pots and Bamboo Baskets (Dalhiya/Dala), Bamboo/Brass Soop, Copper Pot/Kalash, Brass Bowl
5. 11 Betel Nuts, Betel Leaves, Arteek Leaves or Paat, Durba Grass
6. Red/yellow cloths for covering all items in the basket, Holy Water(Ganaga Jaal), Hawan items, Sandalwood, Incense Sticks, Dhoop, Camphor, Earthen Lamps, Mango Leaves, Branches, and Woods, Teel seeds both black and white
7. Coins & Money for Worship, Donations, Saffron, Milk, Wheat, Pistachio, Almonds, Dry/Green Grapes, Cashew, Cardamom, Chestnut, Lotus Seeds for Offerings
8. Mustered Oil, Pumpkin, and Bottle Gourd for Nanha Kha / Naha Kha date, Rose Water, Kevara Jaal (Screw Pine Water), Gram Pulse, Glass Bangles, Blanket
You can also check out Pujashoppe’s premium puja kit to get all the mandatory ingredients for this puja.
Puja Vidhi/ Process:-
Devotees observe this prosperous Chhath festival for the welfare of the family. Both women and men can observe the fast and follow the rituals.
The primary day of Chhath Puja is celebrated as Nanha Kha or Nahai Khai. This day is dedicated to basic puja preparation, and purification.
The next day of Chhath Puja is known as ‘Kharna’ fasting. Devotees observe fast on this particular day, which is believed as ‘Kharna’, and break the fast in the evening after performing a puja at home. Sweets, kheer, fruits, and dry fruits can be offered during this time to the deities, and then the prasad can be distributed among the members of the family.
However, devotees commonly break this fast usually on the fourth day morning.
On the third day of Chhath, the devotees perform ‘Sandhya Arghya’ in the evening. on this auspicious day devotees must observe the fast devoid of consuming water until sunrise on the next morning. By standing in knee-deep water in the river, pond, lake, devotees should offer ‘Arghya’ along with ‘soop’ to the setting sun (Lord Surya).
‘Argh’ and ‘soop’ are offerings, which include flowers, fruits, sacred items, diyas, sugarcane, jaggery, coconut, milk, sweets, and vegetables. One should perform evening puja at home for Lord Agni, the fire god.
Fourth day of Chhath Puja is acknowledged as Chhath ‘Suryodaya Arghya’. On the fourth day morning, devotees perform this ritual by repeating all the sacred rituals they executed on the third day for the rising Lord Sun. The existing offerings are distributed among devotees after the Chhath Puja ends.