Millions in Bihar pray to setting sun on Chhath

Last Updated: Sunday, October 25, 2009 - 00:02

Patna: Millions of people across Bihar, mostly women, marked the festival of Chhath Saturday by fasting, singing traditional songs and praying to the setting sun.

Devotees, attired in new clothes, sang folk songs as they prayed to the sun god and set lit earthen lamps afloat on rivers, lakes and other water bodies.

Roads and river banks had been cleaned and decorated for the occasion.
The four-day-long Chhath began Thursday when devotees took a dip in the rivers, a tradition known as `nahai khai`. It was followed by the ritual of `kharna` Friday when sweet dishes were prepared.

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 the river banks were decorated and cleaned for the devotees to perform `arghya` or oblations to the sun.

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 Sunday with devotees worshipping the rising sun. Chhath is celebrated six days after Diwali.

IANS



First Published: Sunday, October 25, 2009 - 00:02
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