Chhath Puja is performed in order to thank Lord Surya and Chhati Maiyya (Usha, Lord Surya's wife), for sustaining life on earth and to request the granting of certain wishes. Chhath means sixth because it falls on the sixth day of the month of Kartika (October/November) or simply on the sixth day after Diwali. God Surya is worshipped very passionately for the well being of their family and near and dear ones.
Chhath Puja is celebrated mainly in the states of Bihar, UP, Jharkhand and some parts of Nepal. This year Chhath Puja, it starts on 24th October and continues until 27th October.
The ritual starts on the fourth day of Kartika month where people take a holy dip in the water of Ganga to purify themselves. Devotees first take a bath, eat something before the fast starts, which then continues for the next 36 hours.
The second day of Chhath is known as Kharna. On this day fasting without water is observed from the sunrise to the sunset. The fast is broken just after sunset after making the food offering the Sun God.
The third-day fasting begins after having Prasad on the second day.
The third day of Chhath Puja is known as 'Sandhya Argh' as all the rituals take place in the evening. Devotees stand in water for long hours and pray for their family and loved ones. A full day fast without water is observed on the third main day of Chhath Puja. Offering Arghya to the setting Sun is the main ritual of the day. It is the only time of the year when Arghya is given to the setting Sun.
The third-day fasting continues throughout the night.
The fourth and the final day, also known as Suryodaya Argh is the day to offer early morning prayers to the God of life and energy followed by 'Parana' where devotees break their fast after 36 long hours.
Chhath Puja 2017: Muhurat Timings
Sunrise on Chhath Puja Day - 06:41 am
Sunset on Chhath Puja Day - 18:05 pm
Chhath Pooja Tithi Shashthi Tithi Begins - 09:37 am on 25th October 2017
Shashthi Tithi Ends - 12:15 pm on 26th October 2017