-While revolving around the Sun, when the Earth comes near around the nine partsfalling within the Libra Zodiac, at that time the Earth and the Sun happen to be at the nearest point of the Earth. DaalaChhath is an attempt to achieve better health and better breed of generations, by making use of the Sun’s “For Infrared Rays”, while the Sun is so much near to the Earth.
Every year, the festival of Chhath is celebrated on the sixth date of the Shukla paksha ( the phase between the New Moon and Full Moon ) in the month of Kartik ( begins with the new moon in November and is the eighth month of the year). It comes exactly sixth day after Deepawali. In some states of India, like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, people living in Delhi and its surrounding areas also, have great enthusiasm about this festival. Women worship and give offerings to the Mother Goddess Chhath on this day for being blessed with a Son and the son’s achievement and longevity. According to ancient Hindu Scriptures, Mother Goddess Chhath, is the sister of Sun God. This is the reason, that worshipping Sun God on this day, is considered to be auspicious and important. The rituals of this Fast carry on, mainly for 3 days. The way of worshipping is different on each day.
First day Bathing and Eating- On the first day of Chhath, it is Bathing-Eating. First of all, the house is mopped and cleaned and the person who keeps the fast also takes bath to be fresh and clean. After this, food is eaten. Cooking Pumpkin and Gram Dal are supposed to be very important part of this day’s food, and as long as the person observing the Fast, has is not eaten, none of the house members is allowed to eat.
Second day, Kharna ( boiling and cleaning )-The person observing the Fast, keeps the fast ( remains hungry ) all day and eats food at night. Making Kheer with Rice and Jaggery ( instead of Sugar ) on this day is of utmost importance. Along with this, there is mention of the provision of arranging food for the Girls staying in nearby families. In it, Rotis( Chapaties ) are made, with a lot of Ghee ( White Butter )smeared on them.In some places, people avoid the use Salt in their food, on this day.
Offerings in the Evening – The main Fast begins on the third day. Many different varieties of delicious food items are made at home on this day. In rural areas, many types of fruits, such as Banana Cubes, Apple, Lemon and Prasad are taken in aWinnowing Bamboo Basket from the house to the banks of a nearby Lake / Pond. In it, the Winnowing Basket is decorated for the Offerings. Along with the person, who has observed the Fast, some neighbours, friends and relatives also go singing along the banks of the Pond. On this day, the Sun is given offerings of water and milk. Some people go to worship MotherGoddess Chhathi with great enthusiasm, singing and playing music with pomp and show on this day.
Offerings in the morning –The next day, ie, on the last day of fasting, Mothers again go to the same Lake / Pond in the morning, and give offering to the rising Sun and pray to get blessings for the good health, safety and longevity of their children, from Mother Chhathi. After this, the person observing the Fast, eat the Prasad ( offerings made to the God ) and culminate the Fast. Observing this Fast of Mother Chhathi, in reality is like a very tough and arduous penance. It is not possible for anyone and everyone, to follow the rules of observing this fast.
Mythological significance- According to an anecdote from mythology, after establishing the Kingdom of Ram in Ayodhya, Ram and Sitahad observed a Fast on Sixth date of Kartik Shukla Paksha, for the whole day and had performed the worship and prayer rituals of the Sun God and on the next day, the Seventh date, the same worship rituals were performed in the morning. From that day onwards, this festival is being celebrated on the sixth day of Deepawali.
Scientific reasons of giving offerings to the Sun God-
Along with spiritual reasons behind giving offerings to the Sun God, during theChhath Puja, there are also some scientific reasons. During the Chhath puja, when the person observing the Fast, gives offerings of water, while facing the Sun, then the rays of the Sun, while crossing the water, get split into different types of rays with the Prism effect. When these rays of the Sun fall on our third eye ( between both the eyebrows), then our nervous system becomes active and the ability of the brain to work, increases.These rays have the effect like that of Ultraviolet rays on the body of the person offering the water. When we look at the Sun, then there is a greater balance of hormones called “Melatonin” and “Serotonin”, which lessens our stress and tensions. Simultaneously, it also has a remedial effect on our body. Thus, when the light of the Sun falls on our body, then it cures the body of allergy and many other types of skin diseases.Sun is the source of Energy. On the day of Chhath, due to the special Planetary position of the Constellations, Positive Energy is transmitted and produced in the body only by way of offering water to the Sun during the time of Sunrise and Sunset, while just standing in the water, immersed from the toe till waist.