Chhath Pooja, not well known yet well celebrated festival is back in Chandigarh. Though this festival is originally native to Bihar and Nepal, but its welcomed by all and Chandigarh is no exception.
In Chandigarh, the major venue for Chhath Pooja is the New Lake in Sector 42. Close to 1 Lakh people gather here on the 4th and the final day of Chhath Pooja. If we had to define the crowd, we’d probably refer it to as a mini Kumbh mela in Chandigarh. Chhath pooja is a four day celebration, signifying the importance of Hindu Sun God in sustaining life. So this day, people of Chandigarh gather at Sector- 42 lake to thank Sun God through their offerings, prayers and fasting.
Highlights of Chhath Pooja in Chandigarh:
Chhath Pooja 2016 will commence on 4th November (Friday) and go on till 7th November (Monday).
- This preparations of this festival starts by after Diwali, where in people keep a check as to not allow anything that might bring impurity in their house.
- People observing fast can only have certain kinds of foods without even the use of onions and garlic.
- New utensils and fresh ingredients are bought to ensure quality.
- People start on the first day by a ritual named ‘NahayeKhaye’ in which they start by cleansing the house, cleansing the body (bath) and decorating the house.
- Thereafter people who observe the fast prepare special dishes to be had by them.
- On the second day, ‘kheer’ and ‘roti’ is made and distributed amongst friends and family.
- People offer obeisances by standing inside water at sunrise and sunset. The venue for this is New Lake in Sector 42 of Chandigarh.
- On Sunday, people will observe a fast all day long ending the day with offering of water to The Sun God at Sector-42.
- On the last day, people will gather at Sector-42 lake starting from 3 AM with all kinds of fruits and vegetables to be offered.
Check out this Video:
Special Cuisine for Chhath Pooja:
There is a strict diet discipline that is followed by those observing 4 day fast and worship. This discipline lies on the following lines
- People observing fast cook a special meal for themselves which includes lauki (Bottle Gourd) in desi ghee, Chana dal and rice. This is considered a traditional meal.
- Second day a special meal named ‘Kharna’ is cooked. People gather in Chandigarh at Sector-42 lake for this.
- People totally abstain from onion & garlic in their diet.
- Second day, people cook special ‘kheer’ made of milk, rice and sugarcane gur. This is had with roti and desi ghee by those who observe the fast. The same is also distributed to friends and relatives this day.
- Third day is strict whole day fasting & many even abstain from water.
- Fourth day people offer fruits & vegetables along with sugarcane. This is again done at the New Lake in Sector 42, Chandigarh.
Last year in 2015, around 90,000 people gathered and displayed the colours of joy. This year in 2016, people participating in Chhath Pooja celebrations at Chandigarh’s Sector 42 lake are expected to be over 1 Lakh.