Chhatpuja is an ancient festival celebrated by Hindus and Jains alike. It is believed to be the only Vedic Festival dedicated to the Hindu Sun God, Surya, and Chhathi Maiya, a Vedic Goddess. The Chhat Puja is performed to thank the Sun God for sustaining life and providing energy. The worshippers request the Sun God for prosperity and progress. People also invoke Chhathi Maiya, also known as Usha in the Vedas. She is believed to be the consort or wife of the Sun God. People pray to her asking for salvation.
Worshippers pray to the Gods, perform religious rituals and make offerings to the Gods. It is also customary to undergo a fast and bathe in the Ganges. All the rituals are observed over a span of four days. The Chhat Puja rituals find mention in the Mahabharata.
The festival is observed most diligently in Bihar, Jharkhand, Eastern UP and the Terai regions of Nepal. The day of Chhath Puja is a public holiday in Delhi.
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