Chhath Puja of Bihar and Jharkhand: A Deep Dive into the Spiritual and Cultural Celebration

Spread India's Glorious Cultural & Spiritual Heritage


Chhath Puja is a significant Hindu festival dedicated to the Sun God, Surya, and his consort, Usha. Celebrated with immense devotion and enthusiasm in the Indian states of Bihar and Jharkhand, this festival holds a special place in the hearts of the people. It is a time when devotees come together to express gratitude, seek blessings, and reinforce their connection with nature and the divine.

Historical Significance

The origins of Chhath Puja date back to ancient Vedic times, highlighting its deep-rooted significance in Hindu culture. The festival finds mention in various ancient texts and scriptures, emphasizing the worship of the Sun God for health, prosperity, and overall well-being. The word “Chhath” denotes the number six in Hindi, representing the sixth day of the lunar fortnight of Kartik month, when the main festivities are observed.

Mythological Background

Chhath Puja has a rich mythological background. It is believed that Draupadi and the Pandavas performed this puja to overcome their difficulties and regain their lost kingdom. Another legend suggests that Karna, the son of Surya and Kunti, worshipped the Sun God to gain supreme power. These mythological references underscore the festival’s ancient origins and its significance in Hindu epics.

Rituals and Celebrations

Preparation and Purification

The rituals of Chhath Puja begin with meticulous preparations that involve strict observance of purity and hygiene. Devotees undertake a rigorous routine of fasting and abstaining from even a drop of water, reflecting their unwavering faith and dedication. Homes are cleaned thoroughly, and special spaces are designated for conducting the rituals.

Nahay Khay

The first day of Chhath Puja is known as “Nahay Khay,” which translates to “bath and eat.” Devotees take a holy dip in rivers or ponds and prepare vegetarian meals, often featuring rice, dal, and pumpkin. This meal marks the beginning of the fasting period and is shared with family members.

Lohanda and Kharna

On the second day, “Lohanda and Kharna,” devotees fast from sunrise to sunset, breaking it only after performing the evening rituals. They prepare a special offering known as “kheer” (a rice pudding made with jaggery and milk), which is shared with the community. The fast is then resumed, continuing until the morning of the fourth day.

Sandhya Arghya

The third day, “Sandhya Arghya,” is the most important day of Chhath Puja. Devotees gather at riverbanks or water bodies to offer “arghya” (a ritual of offering water) to the setting sun. This beautiful and serene ritual is accompanied by devotional songs and prayers, creating a mesmerizing ambiance as the sun sets on the horizon.

Usha Arghya

The final day, “Usha Arghya,” involves offering prayers to the rising sun. Devotees once again gather by the water bodies before dawn, carrying baskets filled with prasad (offerings) such as fruits, thekua (a traditional sweet), and sugarcane. As the sun rises, they perform the arghya, seeking blessings for health, happiness, and prosperity.

Symbolism and Cultural Significance

Chhath Puja is not just a religious observance; it is a celebration of life, nature, and the environment. The worship of the Sun God symbolizes the sustenance and energy provided by the sun, essential for life on earth. The rituals emphasize gratitude, humility, and the harmonious coexistence of human beings with nature.

The festival also highlights the cultural richness of Bihar and Jharkhand, showcasing traditional music, dance, and folk songs that are an integral part of the celebrations. Communities come together, transcending social and economic barriers, to partake in the collective joy and devotion.

Environmental Aspect

An essential aspect of Chhath Puja is its environmental consciousness. Devotees perform rituals on riverbanks and water bodies, emphasizing the importance of clean and unpolluted water. This practice encourages environmental awareness and responsibility, promoting the preservation of natural resources.

Social and Communal Harmony

Chhath Puja fosters social and communal harmony, bringing together people from various backgrounds. The communal preparation of prasad and the collective participation in rituals strengthen social bonds and promote a sense of unity and cooperation among communities.


Chhath Puja is a testament to the enduring faith and cultural heritage of the people of Bihar and Jharkhand. It is a festival that not only honors the Sun God but also reinforces the values of gratitude, purity, and communal harmony. As devotees immerse themselves in the rituals and celebrations, they reconnect with their roots and find spiritual solace in the timeless traditions of Chhath Puja.

By delving into the historical significance, detailed rituals, cultural aspects, and the environmental consciousness of Chhath Puja, this blog post aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the festival, capturing its essence and importance in the hearts of millions.

Spread India's Glorious Cultural & Spiritual Heritage

By Mala Chandrashekhar

Introducing Blogger Mala Chandrashekhar - A specialist academically trained in modern Western sciences, yet deeply enamored with India's timeless ethnic arts, crafts, and textiles. Her heart beats for the rich and glorious cultural and spiritual heritage of India, and she has dedicated her entire blog to spreading the immortal glories of ancient India worldwide. Through her simple yet impactful blog posts, Mala aims to reach every nook and corner of the globe, sharing India's beauty and wisdom with the world.

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