Chhath Puja celebrated in Garo Hills

Tura: Thousands of devotees thronged the various Chhath Ghats across the Garo Hills region to offer their prayers to the sun as part of the Chhath festival. The festival will end tomorrow morning tomorrow with devotees worshipping the rising sun.

Thousands of devotees of ‘Chatti Maiya’, mostly from the Hindi-speaking community,  lined up at the various Ghats to offer their prayers and take dips in the cold, early morning water. The festival is unique in the fact that devotees worship the setting sun the evening prior before taking an early morning dip and offering prayers to the rising sun.

The festival is held each year six days after Diwali to honour the Sun God (Surya).

The festival is dedicated to the sun for bestowing the bounties of life on earth and to seek the granting of certain wishes. The festival sees rigorous fasting undertaken by both men and women over a period of four days before fasting is broken after prayers on completion of prayers to the rising sun.

The rituals include bathing, fasting and abstaining from drinking water, standing in water for long periods of time, and offering prasad (prayer offerings) and ‘arghya’ to the setting and rising sun. Some devotees also perform a prostration march as they head for the river banks.

The puja in Tura took place in the dedicated Chatth Ghat at Babupara stream, while in Phulbari, devotees thronged the Jinjiram River to offer their prayers.

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The event in Tura is organised by the Tura Chatth Puja Committee. The committee is led by its president, Santosh Tiwari and secretary, Vivek Srivastava. The committee members thanked the district administration and the police for helping ensure a peaceful festival.

“Our festival ends on the morning of the fourth day with prayers by devotees to the rising sun (Usha). We pray to the Sun God (Surya) and to Chathhi Mai (who is the embodiment of 5 other Gods including Durga, Saraswati, among others) for their blessings in our lives,” said Rahul Gupta, a resident of Tura and one of the devotees during the festivities today.

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