Gangtok: November 2
A four day long Chhath Puja was organized at Thakurbari Mandir by the Chhath Puja Organizing Committee Thakurbari, Gangtok. The said Puja is an ancient Hindu Festival dedicate to the Hindu Sun God, Surya also known as Surya Shashti. The festival has started from 30th October. Due to the earthquake of 18th September, this time the organizing committee could not celebrate the puja in a grand manner, he said. While mentioning about the festival, President said that the Chhath Puja is performed in order to thank for sustaining life on earth and to request the granting of certain wishes where the sun considered the god of energy and of the life-force, is worshiped during the Chhath festival to promote well-being and prosperity. The Sun worship is believed to help cure a variety of diseases including Leprosy, and helps ensure the longevity and prosperity of family members, friends and elders, he added.
Adding further, Kashyap said that the Naha Kha is the first day or the day where
all Chhath puja devotees start their Sankalpa of Chhath puja. As the name sound it is basically a day when devotees takes bath and eat some pre-decided satvika meal and said that from this day (Naha Kha) all devotees prepared for the Chhath Vrat (fasting). Kashyap also informed that the rituals of the festival are rigorous and are
observed over a period of four days where they include holy bathing, fasting and abstaining from drinking water, standing in water for long periods of time and offering prashad (prayer offerings) and aragh to the setting and rising sun. The Prasad offerings include sweets (Thekua) and fruit offered in small bamboo winnows. The food is strictly vegetarian and it is cooked without salt, onions or garlic.