The festival of Chhath is celebrated on the sixth day of the Kartik month of Hindu calendar year. This great Indian festival is observed by worshipping the Sun god i.e. Surya dev. It is a festival of penance (tapa) and dedication. It is known by several names such as Chhath, Chhathi , Chhath Festival, Daala Puja etc. This folk festival is celebrated mainly in the Eastern region in India viz. Bihar, Jharkhand, UP and regions in Nepal. The festival is believed to bestow the sunlight as the sun does. The festival is also believed to give the auspicious fruition of glory, dignity, progeny and many other boons.
The way this festival is celebrated is very different from other festivals and religious carnivals. In this four-day worship, there is no role of rituals, priests or temples. In this festival, more emphasis is given to purity and simplicity when compared to any other festival.
Legends behind Chhath
The tradition of observing a fast during Chhath has been going on for centuries. The scriptures have mentioned how this tradition started. Apart from the worship of mother Chhath, these legends mention the attainment of hearty desires also. As per one of the legends, once an heir of Shri Krishna was inflicted by leprosy due to a curse by Rishi Durvasa. To be alleviated from the curse, he worshipped the Sun god and thus became disease-free.
Draupadi kept the fast of Chhath: According to another legend, when Pandavas had lost their kingdom in gambling, then, Draupadi observed the fast of Chhath. This fulfilled her wishes and Pandavas regained their kingdom.
There is one more legend that after Lanka victory, Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya. And the event is celebrated as Diwali. And after six days of Diwali, i.e. on the sixth day of Kartik Shukla, Ram Rajya was established. Then, Ram and Sita observed a fast and worshipped the Sun god. On the seventh day, they closed the fast methodically and got blessings of the Sun god. Since then this day has been known as Chhath Puja.
Chhath is the festival of an elevated familial ritual. Ram Rajya is the one where there is no dwelling of sorrows. In short, all legends relating to this festival are centered around the desires to have progeny, disease-free body and a life full of grains, wealth and kiths and kins. Besides, the festival also symbolizes deity-hood and the absence of physical diseases and sorrows. Moreover, it develops social equality as all classes of the society participate in it.
Spiritual significance of Chhath
The festival has some spiritual significance also as revealed by The Ocean of Knowledge Supreme Soul God Shiva. Diwali is the commemoration of igniting the soup-lamp through imbibing the Godly knowledge being revealed by Deep Raj God Shiva and coronation of Shri Lakshmi and Shri Narayan. Therefore, the festival is the expression of gratitude towards the Supreme Soul God Shiva for the establishment of Shivalaya i.e. heaven by Him.