The festival of Chhath Puja starts today and will continue for the next four days. The festival is celebrated by offering Arghya to the rising Surya Devta (rising sun). The word Chhath is taken from Shashthi, which means six. The Chhath Puja Saptami festival of four days starts from the Chaturthi in Kartik month. The main puja is done on the sixth day. The devotees prepare several dishes and fruits that are offered to the Surya Devta. The Thekua and fruits offered to mata have a major reason behind it.
The Chhath Puja has its historical significance. The devotees observe a fast of 36 hours during the festival. They do not even drink water while fasting. The festival is majorly celebrated with great enthusiasm in the state of Bihar, Jharkhand, Eastern Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
The items that can be offered as bhog are as follows:
The thekua is considered the most important Prasad on the occasion of Chhath Puja. It is made from jaggery and flour. The Chhath Puja is considered incomplete without it. Since the festival comes in winters, thekua is offered, for jaggery is beneficial to health during cold weather.
Bunch of bananas
A bunch of bananas is offered as Prasad to Chhathi Maiya at the time of worship which has special significance in Chhath Puja. The celebration of the Chhath festival is primarily for children to prevent them from diseases during the winter season. To save them from problems, bananas are included in the prasad.
Sugarcane is also offered in prasad at the time of worship. While offering Arghya, it is necessary to have sugarcane in the offerings. Sugarcane is considered an important Prasad to Chhathi Maiyya. Without this, the puja is considered incomplete. It is believed that the crop is produced only by the grace of the sun and hence the newest crop is offered to the sun in Chhath.
Coconut is a must in Chhath and it helps protect us from the problem of cold and flu due to change in weather. Apart from this, there are many important nutritious elements present in coconut which keeps our immune system healthy, another reason for its inclusion in the prasad.
Dabh lemon, a special type of lemon, is also offered to Chhath mata. It is a big yellow coloured lemon which is red from inside. Dabh lemon is beneficial for our health and it keeps us away from diseases.
Special rice laddoo
The Rice laddoos are also offered as Prasad at the time of worship. These laddoos are prepared from special rice. The rice used in the sweet is prepared from several layers of paddy. It is considered important that the new crop of rice is offered to the Sun first. That’s why there is a tradition of offering rice laddus as bhog to Chhath mata.
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