Chhath at Ranchi, 2017

With Dussehra and Diwali over, can Chhath be far behind? And so it is the time of the year once again when people in this part of the country celebrate this beautiful festival. Sanctified by the ancient texts such as Ramayana, this festival is a prayer for good health,  strength and vitality.

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The site of Chhath

A brief recap: Chhath, a festival primarily celebrated in Bihar, Jharkhand, Eastern UP and the plains of Nepal, is an invocation to the Sun God and his wife, Chhathi Maiyaa ( Usha). Chhath involves the rituals of  Vratta (fasting), Prasad ( offerings ) and Arghya (homage) to the rising and sitting sun, and is a colourful spectacle of rituals and faith.

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Paying obeisance in the water
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The crowd

 

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Chhath festivities

These pictures were taken at the Jumar river,just behind the township of Gautam Green City. This is one place I had not visited for Chhath before, and came to know courtesy my neighbor Shubham. It turned out to be a bit rustic in terms of road access, but enjoyable nevertheless. Even more enjoyable is the prospect of the next-day Thekua (sweet made specially for Chhat)!

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Getting ready
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Freaking out !!
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Offerings to the Gods 

This year was very different, as I was badly missing Babai, who accompanied me to the Chhath festivities enthusiastically for the last two years. If he had been around, he would have been surely clicking pics and uploading them on Facebook for his hundreds of friends around the world. R.I.P Babai, probably you are seeing the festivities from up above (at least, I would like to imagine so).

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Busy in festivities

Here is my earlier article on Chhath, which I had the occasion of witnessing on this scale for the first time at Ranchi in 2015:

https://worldbeneaththefeet.com/2016/06/12/chhath-salutations-to-the-sun-god

The spirit and the fervor seems to be increasing every year, for this is the flagship festival of Bihar and Jharkhand, now celebrated across the country and even abroad. I remember the celebrities in Delhi and Kolkata, which symbolize the spirit associated with Chhath.

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Fireworks !!

So, as they say in these parts, “Chhathi Maiyaa ki Jai( hail the Chaath goddess)” !!May She take care of us all.

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Carrying blessings back

 

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