The Sun God, Surya, the god of energy and of the life force, is worshipped during the Chhath Puja to promote well-being, prosperity and progress.
Surya Shashti, Chhath, Chhathi, Chhath Parv, Dala Puja, and Dala Chhath are other names for Chhath Puja.
Chhath puja, observed a week after Diwali, is a noteworthy occasion in Indian culture, particularly in the state of Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, and some sections of Madhya Pradesh, as well as in some parts of Nepal. On this day, devotees expose themselves to direct sunlight because they think the Sun is a source of healing and may treat a variety of conditions.
According to Ramayana, when Lord Rama and his wife Sita returned from exile to Ayodhya, they kept a fast until sunset in order to worship the Sun God. Also, as per Mahabharatha, Karna, the son of the Sun God and Kunti, is also said to have prayed to the Lord while putting his feet in the water. Even the Pandavas and their wife Draupadi worshipped the Sun God In order to reclaim their throne from the Kauravas.
Four days of Chhath Puja:
Chhath puja, in contrast to other Hindu ceremonies, lasts for four days. During these four-day rituals, participants take holy baths in the river, fast, prepare and offer Prasad, and then perform arghya to the sun.
Nahai Khai, which literally translates to mean bathing and eating, is the name of the first day of the Chhath Puja. On the first day of the puja, the worshippers take a bath in the water. Following the preparation of the customary Prasad, the women are always the first to consume it before the rest of the family joins them.
The followers observe fasting till sundown on the second day. Only after sunset do people break their fast. They abstain from food and drink before dusk. People break their fast on this day and then keep it again for 36 hours after worshipping Lord Surya.
Most of the women dress in yellow sarees on the third day of puja and prepare food that will later be served to the sun. As part of the 36-hour fast, nothing is consumed on this day. The women dip into the water and offer fruits to the setting Sun.
People assemble on the river banks at sunrise on the fourth day of the puja, which is also the final day. After the prayers are over, worshippers eat prasad, which marks the end of the Chhath Puja celebrations, which last for four days.
In Bihar, many communities host large gatherings for friends and families in the evening. After then, a tonne of delectable food is prepared for those who observed the fast, and the four-day Chhath Puja holiday comes to a close.