A Festival to Thank the Sun
Chhath Puja is a popular ‘Sun Worship’ festival in and around Bihar. It is a festival to thank the Sun for the life and warmth it has bestowed on us. The antiquity of the festival can be traced to the Mahabharata period.
The word “Chhath” comes from the Samskrt word “Shashti”, meaning “six”, for this festival is observed on the 6th day of the ascending phase of the moon, Shukla Paksha of the Karthika month.
Karna observed Chhath Puja
The tragic hero of Mahabharata, Karna who is Surya Putra, worshipped the Divinity Sun on this day. His kingdom in the Mahabharata period is in the region of Bhagalpur, Bihar. The Biharis have a close affinity to this festival.
Draupadi observed Chhath Puja
Draupadi, the queen of the Pandavas is also recorded to have observed this Sun worship.
Observed in North India
Since then for over 5100 years, this festival has had resonance in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Nepal and adjoining parts.
In the sequence of the Kaumudi festival of Deepavali period, the Chhath festival has its role of importance as other regional festivals.