Chhath Puja 2020: Several parts of India are all set to celebrate Chhath Puja or Chhath Parva. It is a four-day festival mostly celebrated by people from Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Bihar and some parts of Nepal. This festival starts with Kartik Shukla Chaturthi and ends with Kartik Shukla Saptami.
To thank the Sun Lord for sustaining life on Earth, women observe fast, offer their prayers and conclude the puja by worshipping Chhati Maiyya. They also thank Chhath Maiya, commonly known as Usha, the wife of Sun God.
This year, the main celebration will take place on the third day, November 20, where when devotees will offer 'Argha' to the Sun God at sunset and offer prasad. On the fourth and last day, devotees pray before sunrise and end their fast by eating special prasad and delicacies.
Chhath Puja 2020: Date and timings:
Day 1: Kaddu Bhaat or Nahay Khay — Nov 18
The festival is spread across four days, beginning with Shakul Chaturthi and concluding with Saptami. The main day of the festival include Chhath Pujan and Sandhya Arghya on Shashti which is on November 18, 2020.
Sunrise timing: 6:46 am
Sunset timing: 5:26 pm
Day 2: Kharna — Nov 19
The second day, ie, on the Panchami Tithi, devotees celebrate Kharna, by observing Nirjala vrat (fasting without drinking even a drop of water) from sunrise to sunset. They break their fast only after offering their prayers to the Sun God during sunset. On this day, women prepare sweets as prasad. The prasad offerings include sweets, Kheer, Thekua and fruits (mainly sugarcane, sweet lime and banana) offered in small bamboo soop winnows. The food is strictly vegetarian and is cooked without salt, onions or garlic. Emphasis is put on maintaining the purity of the food.
This year Lohanda and Kharna falls on November 19, 2020.
Sunrise time: 6:47 am
Sunset time: 5:26 pm
Day 3: Chhath puja — Nov 20
The main day of Chhath Puja is on the Shashthi of Shukla Paksha of Kartik month. Chhath Puja is done on this day only. The third day of the festival is the main puja day, and it is called Chhath Puja. It is observed on Shashti Tithi of Shukla Paksha of Kartik month. On this day, women offer Sandhya Arghya. Women observe a day-long fast and break it only on the following day after sunrise.
Sunrise time: 6:48 am
Sunset time: 5:26 pm
Day 4: Usha Arghya — Nov 20
The last day of Chhath Puja is observed on the seventh day of Shukla Paksha of Kartik month. Women, who observe the Chhat Puja Vrat, break their fast (do the Parana) on this day. They offer their prayers and water to the Sun God. This year, Usha Arghya and Parana of Chhath Puja will take place on November 21.
Sunrise time: 6:49 am
Sunset time: 5:25 PM
Interestingly, sunrise and sunset timings are of great significance because they represent the cycle of birth and death.