Hundreds of devout North Indians had gathered at ponds all across the city on Wednesday and Thursday to offer Sandhya Arghya and Usha Arghya to the Sun God during the Chhat Puja
Navi Mumbai: The Chhat Puja celebrations in the city concluded on Thursday, 11 November 2021, with hundreds of devout north Indians gathering at various ponds all across Navi Mumbai to offer “Usha Arghya” or “Early Morning Prayer to the Rising Sun”, in unison.
Women broke their day-long fast which had started on the morning of Wednesdaay, a day prior.
The four-day Chhat Puja celebrations in Navi Mumbai saw huge crowds converging at ponds in several nodes of Navi Mumbai, like Kharghar, Belapur, Ulwe, Nerul, Vashi and others.
In Kharghar, Chhat Puja was celebrated with great fervour at several ponds like the Taloja Jail Pond, Central Park Pond and others.
On Wednesday evening, the third day of celebrations, city devouts had gathered at ponds to offer “Sandhay Arghya” or “Evening Prayers to the Setting Sun”.
During the “Sandhay Arghya” event, fasting women took along “Soops” or “Bamboo Baskets” filled with prasad, mainly fruits, hekau and laddus made of rice. They stood in the water, chanting, till the sun went down, and then stepped out of the water after offering their prayer to the Chhati Maiyya.
The entire event was nothing less than a carnival, with people dressed up elegantly, especially children who wore clothes of vibrant colours, and ran around merrily. There was praying, singing, laughing and a lot more all around.
Mohit Tiwari, a local resident, shared, “Earlier we used to live in sector 21 of Kharghar and so all of us used to celebrate Chhat Puja at the Central Park pond. However, we recently shifted to Taloja Panchanand and so this year we celebrated Chhat at the Navde pond, a local waterbody near our house.”
“We had thought that there would be very few people celebrating with us but were surprised to find hundreds of families gathered at the pond. It was a great feeling to be celebrating Chhat after a year of pandemic.”
On returning home from the “Sandhya Arghya”, the fasting women performed another ritual known as “Kosi Bharai” wherein they erected triangular teepees with just five sugarcanes tied together. Later during the night, they indulged in dvotional songs and hyms of Shashthi Devi and the “Vrat Katha”.
Also read: Ulwe residents celebrated Chhat Puja 2021 with great fervor
Then, a dozen or more earthern lamps were lit in the base formed between the tied canes. Also offerings like fruits and thekua were kept along with the burning lamps.
On Thursday, that is today and the fourth and final day of Chhat Puja, the devotees headed back to the ponds for the “Usha Arghya” between 3 am and 4 am, to repeat the same rituals performed during the “Sandhya Arghya” with the only exception of them offering raw cow milk to the Sun God through the “soop”.
After making offerings to the sun rose, the fasting women broke their fast with raw milk, sharbat and prasad offered during the prayers.
Though the number of people gathered at ponds was overwhelming, the organisers tried their best to follow covid-19 protocols as much as possible.
Last Updated on November 12, 2021 by lp@admin
Mohit Tiwari(November 12, 2021 - 00:31)
For North Indians, Chhat Puja is a big and auspicious festival as it brings families together, at least once in a year. People take leaves from work to celebrate it. Every year I personally wait for Chhat Puja with great enthusiasm and celebrate it along with my family and friends.