Chhath Festival Essay For Students
Being a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-religious nation, Nepal is the homeland of a unique and variety of cultural and religious people. Feasts, festivals, social ceremonies, cultural celebrations, etc. have been part of Nepalese society. Besides, they are important assets of the nation and source of joy, happiness, and a way to maintain the religious bond between the people. People of different cultural groups celebrate different sorts of festivals.
Chhath festival is one of the festivals celebrated in Nepal as well as in different parts of India. This festival is historically native to states of India like Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal and, Madhesi communities of Nepal. It is a Hindu festival mainly celebrated by natives of the Mithila region and Madhesi in Nepal. The festival generally occurs in the month of October or November and is celebrated for 4 days starting from Kartik Shukla Chaturthi to Kartik Shukla Saptami. The festival is mainly dedicated to worshipping the sun and Chhathi Maiya to thank them for their blessings, for the fulfillment of the wish and for the prosperity and the well-being.
The rituals of the Chhath festival mainly include taking of the holy bath, fasting, offering argha and prasad to rising and setting sun and so on. The sun is offered with argha to show the devotion towards Lord Surya and to express thankfulness for sustaining life on earth and maintenance of a healthy environment. Besides, Chhathi Maiya is also worshipped at the festival.
The story behind the celebration of Chhath festival
Chhath pooja was celebrated since the period of Mahabharat. It was said that Draupadi(wife of panch Pandavas) had the power to cure any kind of diseases and the reason for her power was her devotion towards Lord Surya. It is often said that the sun has the power to heal any diseases. The divine energy from the sun was the reason that Draupadi was the curer for any kind of disease. They also worshipped lord Surya for the success of their exile period. Hence, to commemorate these events, the Chhath the festival is celebrated worshipping the Lord Surya.
The celebration of Chhath pooja includes the following four days
First Day(Arba Arbian or Nahan Khan)
On the first day, the holy bath is taken in the nearby rivers and the house is maintained clean. The devotees take food only one-time discarding garlic, onions, and meat.
This is the day before Chhath Pooja where fasting is observed ending in the evening sunset and Parsad like bananas, puris, Khers are distributed.
It is the main day of the Chhath festival. On this day, the offerings (prasad, argha) for the evening, are prepared for the whole day. In the evening, the devotees along with their family go to nearby rivers, lakes or ponds and worship the setting sun and provide their holy offerings(argha). The setting sun is prayed for the longevity and prosperity in the family. In the evening, cultural and folk dances are performed the whole night after the chhath pooja. The folk songs are also played mainly in three languages Maithili, Magadhi, and the Bhojpuri.
Fourth Day (Paran)
It is the final day of the Chhath pooja on which the devotees along with their family return to the nearby rivers or lakes again before the sun rises and offer the argha to the rising sun which marks the end of the festival. They break their fast by taking Prasad that mainly includes Thekuwa(made from wheat), puris, kher, etc. and are also distributed among the family. This festival celebrated after Tihar has its own importance.
The fast is observed for the prosperity of the family. It is also said that the wishes of fast observers are also fulfilled. However, it is difficult to take the fasting of the Chhath festival as there are many restrictions and should be followed strictly. From the health point of view, the festival promotes cleanliness and the healthiness of the body. It also improves the immune system of the body and the proper functioning of various human glands. Moreover, the useful radiation from the sun helps to fight against and cure different infections, diseases and so on. It also brings mental calmness and provides mental benefits. Hence, the Chhath festival is also very significant from the health point of view.