Phagwara, November 20
Lakhs of devotees worshipped the Sun on the banks of the Sutlej and other water bodies in Phagwara, Goraya, Phillaur, Bilga, Nurmahal and Nakodar areas today in the morning. The ‘puja’ concluded after offering “Arghya” to the rising Sun ending the four-day long Chhath festival.
People started rushing to nearby water bodies since early morning. Devotees observed fast and prepared traditional offerings like thekua, coconut, banana and seasonal fruits in soop (bamboo trays).
Union Minister of State Som Parkash, Phagwara MLA Balwinder Singh Dhaliwal, former Union Minister Vijay Sampla, former minister Joginder Singh Maan, Congress leaders Santosh Chaudhary, Vikramjit Singh Chaudhary, AAP leaders Lalit Saklani, Improvement Trust Chairman Kashmir Singh Malhi and Principal Nirmal Singh (retd) greeted people on the occasion describing ‘Chhath Puja’ as a festival of prosperity and joy.
Tradition has it that an ancient king got cured of leprosy after he adhered to the advice of doctors to observe fast and offer ‘arghya’ to the setting and rising Sun standing in knee-deep water to mark the beginning of the festival.
“As per the tradition, ‘Chhath Puja’ is performed to thank the Sun. All rituals and songs sung by devotees during the festival centre around veneration of the Sun with the belief that it helps in promoting health and prosperity,” said a devotee.
Earlier, nearly 40,000 people hailing from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, performed ‘Chhath Puja’ on Sunday evening by offering ‘Ark’ to the setting Sun along the Chachoki distributary in Phagwara, while more than one lakh devotees performed the ‘puja’ near the Sutlej at Phillaur.
A carnival-like atmosphere prevailed at the site near Chachoki canal on the periphery of Phagwara and on the banks of Sutlej near Phillaur.
Punjabis also participated in the festival. Some Punjabi women also observed a fast.
Chhath is marked by rigorous fasting for two days, during which even the drinking of water is prohibited.
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