Chhath Puja in Patna | Bihar | A Spiritual Journey | Louki Bhaat | Kharna | Evening Chhath Puja | Morning Chhath Pooja | Shoobh Muhurat
Chhath Puja is a unique and significant festival celebrated with fervor and devotion, especially in the northern regions of India. Among the cities that observe this grand festival with unparalleled enthusiasm, Patna, the capital of Bihar, stands out as the epicenter of Chhath Puja celebrations. The festival spans four essential days, each marked by distinct rituals and observances, making it a spiritually enriching experience for the people of Patna.
Louki Bhaat: The Prelude to Chhath Puja
The Chhath Puja festivities kick off with Louki Bhaat (gourd and rice), the first day dedicated to the preparation of special offerings for the Sun God. On this day, devotees clean and sanctify their homes, preparing for the upcoming rituals. The Louki Bhaat is a symbolic beginning, signifying the devotees’ commitment to the purity and sanctity of the Chhath Puja celebrations.
Kharna: A Day of Fasting and Preparations
The second day, known as Kharna, is marked by a day-long fast observed by the Chhath devotees. The fast is broken in the evening after performing the rituals at sunset. Devotees prepare the traditional prasad, which includes kheer (sweet rice pudding) and chapattis made of wheat flour. This prasad is offered to the Sun God during the Chhath Puja, symbolizing gratitude and seeking blessings for the well-being of family members.
Evening Chhath: A Mesmerizing Sunset Ritual
The third day of Chhath Puja is the Evening Chhath, a spectacular event where devotees gather at the ghats (riverbanks) to offer prayers to the setting sun. The rituals involve standing in waist-deep water, facing the setting sun, and chanting hymns dedicated to the Sun God. The offerings include the traditional prasad prepared on the second day. The ghats of Patna come alive with the mesmerizing sight of thousands of lamps, diyas, and arghya (offerings) floating on the river, creating a serene and spiritual ambiance.
Morning Chhath: Greeting the Rising Sun with Reverence
The culmination of Chhath Puja takes place on the fourth day, known as Morning Chhath or Usha Arghya. Devotees wake up before sunrise and gather at the riverbanks to offer prayers to the rising sun. This ritual is considered the most crucial part of Chhath Puja, symbolizing the thanksgiving to the Sun God for sustaining life on earth. The devotees break their 36-hour-long fast after completing the Morning Chhath rituals, marking the end of the auspicious festival.
Chhath Puja in Patna is not merely a festival; it’s a spiritual journey that binds communities together in devotion and gratitude. The city’s ghats witness a convergence of tradition, faith, and cultural richness during these four days, creating an atmosphere of joy and reverence. The Louki Bhaat, Kharna, Evening Chhath, and Morning Chhath together weave a tapestry of rituals that reflect the deep-seated spiritual connection of the people of Patna with the Sun God, making Chhath Puja an unparalleled celebration in the region.