Chhath Puja is a festival of bathing and worshipping, that follows a period of abstinence and segregation for four days. This is the only holy festival which has no involvement of any pundit. Worship and reverence are given to Surya Dev (the Sun) and Chhathi Maa (the Dawn).
Instead of murti worship, we dedicate this time to a visible physical energy that literally affects us every day, the sun. Devotees observe a vrat which varies by each day and pray at a riverbank during sunrise and sunset. Scientifically, solar energy has the lowest levels of ultraviolet radiations during this time, which makes it beneficial for the body. The four day festivities are celebrated with dedication, devotion and mindfulness towards the supreme energy that the sun bestows upon us.
Hindu devotees pray while standing in the Arabian Sea as they worship the Sun god Surya during the Hindu religious festival ‘Chatt Puja’ in Mumbai, India. Hindu women fast for the whole day for the betterment of their family and the society during the festival. - Danish Siddiqui/Reuters