Lakhs worship rising sun on Chhath Puja’s last day
RANCHI: Lakhs of men and women across Jharkhand paid tributes to the rising sun on Monday as part of Chhath, the state’s most popular festival. Amid devotional songs and the bursting of firecrackers, devotees, who observed a gruelling 36-hour fast, offered ‘Usha arghya’ to the rising sun in different water bodies of the state. Many men carried wicker baskets on their heads, heavy with items used in the ritual worship, to ghats of rivers and water bodies to offer puja. Odisha Governor Raghubar Das, along with his family members, offered a salutation to the sun in Jamshedpur, while several parliamentarians and legislators from different political parties observed the rituals at their respective places. Devotees thronged ghats of rivers and water bodies early in the morning and paid their obeisance to the rising Sun. The four-day festivities began on November 17 with “Nahaay Khaay”, when devotees and their family members take sattvic food after a ritual bath, followed by “Kharna” a day later when “prasad” of rice pudding and rotis is shared with family and friends. The festivities concluded on Monday morning, with salutations to the rising sun, after which devotees break their fast with fruits and “thekua”, a fried pancake sweetened with jaggery, to which the festival owes its popularity among children. No untoward incident was reported from any of the water bodies where security personnel helped the devotees complete their puja safely in the morning. Water bodies across Jharkhand had been cleaned for the occasion.