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छठ पर्व celebrated in Montreal

Montreal, Nepalese residing in the city, especially our members and friends from Point Claire region, celebrated Chhat parba this Novenber 2013.

The festival is celebrated by Hindu religious in Nepal and India. This festival is very popular in Terai region of Nepal but now a days becoming popular in Kathmandu as well. This festival is dedicated to god Sun. Sun is called Surya in Sanscrit, Chhat parba is thanks giving to lord Surya for sustaining life on earth and to worship him to provide his continuous blessings to mankind.

The Sun, source power of nature, considered the god of energy and lord of the life-force, is worshiped in Chhath to promote well-being, prosperity and progress. Hindu people believe sun helps to cure many illness and diseases. Sun is considered as source of energy and healing too. People worship sun to ensure the longevity and prosperity of family members, friends and beloved ones.

When is Chhath Puja ?

Which is observed for 4 days from Kartik Shukala chaturthi to Kartik Shukala Saptami which comes soon after Tihar (Deepawali).

How do we celebrate Chhath Parba ?

Chhath festival is celebrated for four days. The ritual of Chhat Parba includes taking holy bath, fasting, standing and worshiping sun for a long time and offering Prasad and Argha to ‘Rising and setting Lord Surya”.


Days in Chhath Parva (total 4 days)

Day 1: Naha Kha

Naha Kha means bath and eat. This is the first day of Chhath Puja. People take a dip, preferably in the holy river near to their residence and bring home Holy water of the river to prepare the offerings. The house and surroundings are fully cleaned. The devotees eat only one meal on this day.

Day 2: Kharna/ Lohanda

This is a day before Chhat on Panchami day. This day people observe fasting ending in the evening after the sunset. Just after the worship of earth, the offerings of Kheer (rice pudding), Bananas and Puris are distributed. There is a tradition to observe fasting for next 36 hours even without water.

Day 3: Chhath

Sandhya Arghya (Evening offering) Devotees observe fast without consuming water. The whole day is spent in preparing puja offerings. All the offerings are kept in tray made up of bamboo. Offerings comprises of Thekua, coconut, banana and other seasonal fruits.

In the evening whole family accompanies the devotee to a riverbank, lake or a common large water body to make the offerings (Aragh) to the setting sun.

Kosi: The third day night, Kosi is held at home after the sun set. The lights are lit late in the evening after making offering (Argha) to sun. The lamps are kept under a canopy of five sugarcane ticks. The five sticks signify the human body made of Pancha tatwa described by Ayurveda.  (Earth, water, fire, air and ether or sky). This is a symbolic ritual in Chhath Puja, performed especially in those families where marriage or childbirth has taken place recently. The lighted lamps signify the solar energy sustaining the human being.

Day 4: Paran

Bihaniya Aragh is fourth and final day of Chhath Pooja. Bihaniya Argha means Morning Offering. On Saptami, the final day of Chhath Puja, the devotees, along with their family and friends, go to the riverbank again before sunrise. They make the offerings (Aragh) to the rising sun. After performing arghyas devotees break their fast with Ginger and Sugar (as per local tradition). Prasad is distributed and gatherings of family and friends ends the celebration.


There are lots of Benefits of Chhath puja

One of The Benefit (Chhath process results in detoxification)
The Chhath process stresses mental discipline. The discipline of mental purity is a result of this work. By employing a number of rituals, the vrattis focus on maintaining the cleanliness of the offerings and environment. Cleanliness is the most dominant thought that prevails in the minds of the devotees during Chhath.

This has a great detoxification effect on the body and the mind as mental moods can result in biochemical changes. Now comes the physical detoxification. The fasting paves the way for detoxification at a material level.
Detoxification helps in regularizing the flow of prana and makes the person more energetic. The natural immune system of the body spends much of its energy in fighting the toxins present in the body. By using the detoxification methods such as pranayam, meditation, yoga and Chhath practices, the amount of toxins present in the body can be reduced to a great extent. Thus, with reduction in the amount of toxins, the expenditure of energy also reduces and you feel more energetic. It improves the appearance of the skin. The eyesight can improve and the ageing process of the body slows down.Significance of emphasis is during sunrise and Sunset periods.

reporting and pics by Vivekanand Dwivedy

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