Why 'Chhath Puja' is considered the most important festival for Biharis?

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Why 'Chhath Puja' is considered the most important festival for Biharis?

The most unique feature about the Chhath Puja is the main idea behind it which is above the disputed concept of Murti Pujan (Idol Worshipping) unlike most of the festivals of the Hindu religion. In simple terms, Sun is the source of life for possibly every creature on this planet earth and this festival is just a way to pay tribute to that life support system irrespective of caste, creed, gender and social stigmas . Isn’t that unique, simple and binding?
The uniqueness in the whole fuss about this festival amongst Bihari(s) is because of a never ending list-
  • Young, Newly married, Widow, Divorcee, no matter what is your relationship status you can keep the fast without being bound to fall in a category to observe this fast.
  • Male or Female is hardly a concern because just like sunlight reaches all, this festival preaches all. You could see both or say even the third gender as a devotee at the Chhath Puja.
  • The cleanliness and brotherhood reaches sky high the moment Chhath Puja approaches and it is surely an inspiration to be followed otherwise as well.
  • It is a 4 day festival with 2 days of pre-festival procedures and 2 days of main fast and believe it or not every other devotee has to follow the same strict guidelines throughout with no weightage to “Jaanta hai mera baap kaun hai!”
  • All the proceedings and offerings are offered by the devotees observing the fast all on their own which breaks another stereotype of hiring a priest.
  • The inclusiveness of this festival goes on to an extent that right from the preparation phase till the Prasad vitaran ( offering distribution) phase, every other caste has a vital role to play without being demeaned to be belonging from that caste.
  • Also, there is no huge fuss about list of things to be offered like a pricey affair, because literally anything, almost like you name it and it is there kind is being offered to the Sun God in Chhath Puja and you choose that as per your convenience.
  • Most importantly, you can ask for the Prasad (the famous Thekua, wheat-flour savory) and blessings from a devotee just by asking for it even if you’re a total stranger to them because no one says no to such favours and that makes it a universal uniting mechanism so to say.
  • Edit 1 -Not to forget the Chhath Puja aura which includes back to back SHARDA SINHA songs being played at every other point across the city, the vivid decoration and excellent law & order across the Ghats (River Banks) forcing every Bihari to mark it in their calendars right at the beginning of the year.
  • Edit 2 - Women on periods has been a huge fuss across our culture specially for religious purposes but the Chhath Puja doesn’t prohibit women from observing the fast if they are menstruating.
  • Edit 3 - The Leniency to continue observing this fast has different funda(s) across different regions of Bihar with Mihtilanchal (North Bihar) having the culture to do it no matter what whereby rest of the regions believes in observing and discontinuing the fast over the years if a misfortune meets their family such as death. Convenience at the best, I say!
Since the Puja is widely celebrated across the Indian state of Bihar and several other neighboring states, the Biharis find themselves too much associated to the smallest possible preparation from a very young age in their lives. It is because of the tuning which Bihar gives in its upbringing that no matter where we live Chhath Puja shenanigans is a must to do ranging from beaches to river side, ponds to lakes, swimming pools to Rubber pools and to the huge utensils too. At the end it is the devotion that matters. Wo kehte hain na “Mann changa toh Kathauti mein Ganga.”
Proud Bihari. 
Credit : Sakshi Jha, Bihari soul. Indian heart.

Mann changa toh Kathauti mein Ganga

One of the stories behind Chhath Puja goes like this,
In Mahabharata time, Bihar was divided into two kingdoms, one of them being Anga which is present day Bhagalpur and other being Magadh.
Anga was ruled by one of the greatest hero of Mahabharata, Karna.
Karna being the son of Surya, worshipped him everyday while dipped in water. The day, or the festival which is celebrated now as Chhath was the last of such Pooja by him in Anga, after which he went to Kurushetra to fight the wall, never to return again.
Now, the population of Anga adored their kind ruler who gave away everything in his life, like the giver his father Sun is. So in his respect, they worship the Surya Dev in the same way.
Later on, the festival became popular among the general masses of Bihar with stories of Chhathi Maiyya attached to it and all the pomp and show and songs.
One of the reasons it has become so popular is that it's one of the most culturally unique thing for any Bihari. Almost every Indian state had some festivals attached to it. Whether it was Navratri of Gujarat or Durgo Pujo of Bengal or Dahi Handi and Ganesh Utsav of Maharashtra or Holi and Janmastmi of UP or Onam of Kerela and other such.
Bihar has its identity in Chhath. Every Bihari celebrates Chhath, even though it wasn't traditionally celebrated in Mithila , it caught up there too. Chhath has become identity of Biharis every bihari, especially all the migrants who, like the hero of Mahabharata, Karna, has left his home, sacrificed everything in his life, and is fighting a battle not his own, just because he has been disowned by his mother /motherland. :)

Credit : Ketan Jha, Content Writer 

Do only Biharis celebrate Chhath Puja? Why is Chhath Puja celebrated? Is there any ghat in Bangalore where Chhath puja is celebrated? Are you a Bihari? How? What does Chhat Puja signify? Are you aware of any importance of this festival? Which are some of the best festivals of your country? What do people actually do on Chhath Puja? How do non-Biharis see Chhath Puja? Why should we celebrate festivals?  What is the festival called ayudh puja in india? Where has the famous Kharchi Puja festival started recently? What is the importance of festivals in life? 

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  1. Dipavali is the important festival of India, because rajyabhishek of bhagvan shri ram so every Hindu
    People are Happy I believe in chhathpuja