New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday greeted people on the occasion of `Chhath Puja`, a festival celebrated in parts of the country on the sixth day after Diwali.
"Greetings to everyone on Chhath Puja," the Prime Minister tweeted.
महापर्व छठ की सभी देशवासियों को हार्दिक शुभकामनाएं। Greetings to everyone on Chhath Puja.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 25, 2017
Sonia Gandhi, in a statement, extended her wishes on the occasion and "hoped that it would once again bring happiness and prosperity to the lives of the people of the nation".
The Puja is dedicated to the Sun God and his wife Usha to thank them for bestowing the bounties of life on earth and to request granting of wishes.
Rituals of the festival are rigorous and are observed over a period of four days.
They include holy bathing, fasting and abstaining from drinking water (barta), standing in water for long periods of time, and offering prashad (prayer offerings) and arghya to the setting and rising sun.
Some devotees also perform a prostration march as they head for the river banks.
It is one of the most popular festivals in eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.