Chhath Puja Vrat, Surya Shashti, or Surya Chhatha Parva is a four-day-long auspicious festival. Chhath Puja is observed in honor of the Sun God, the Lord of energy, power, and life.
There are two auspicious Chhath Puja Vrat festivals or Parva in one year.
The first Chhatha Puja Vrat
Chaiti Chhatha Puja Vrat is the first Chhath Puja Vrat, which takes place in the Shukla Paksha of Chaitra Maas.
The Second Chhatha Puja Vrat
Surya Chatha Puja Vrat is the second Puja Vrat, which takes place in the Shukla Paksha of Kartik Maas is more popular than Chaiti Chhath.
Devotes keep Vrat and perform Puja for the health, career, prosperity, and success of self and progeny.
People celebrate one of the most auspicious Chhatha Puja Vrat in Jharkhand Bihar and some parts of eastern India with great enthusiasm and devotion.
People in Nepal observe Chhatha Puja Vrat with great devotion and enjoy celebrating the Chhath festival as it is also popular there.
Chhatha Puja festival is dedicated to the Sun God
It is a Vedic Indian festival that is dedicated to the Sun God (Lord Surya) and Chhathi Maiya (another name for Goddess Usha and a sister of Lord Surya).
While in the Mahabharata, Chhath Puja was performed by Kunti after the Pandavas escaped from Lakshagriha.
The main worshipers, called Parvatin (from Sanskrit Parva, meaning “occasion” or “festival”), are usually women.
However, men also observe this festival with women as Chhath is not a gender-specific festival.
Chaiti Chhath Puja: March 27, 2023 (the third day of Chhatha Puja)
Prayers are offered to the setting sun on the third day (Shashti) called Kharana, while on the fourth day the rising sun is worshipped.
Shashti Tithi begins on March 27, 2023, and ends on March 28, 2023. Prayers are offered to the setting sun on the third day called Kharana, while on the fourth day the rising sun is worshipped.
Chaitra month, Chhath Puja Vrat, the first Chhata Parva
Chhath Puja which begins on Chaturthi is a four-day festival, Nahay Khay. The other three Chhatha Puja Vrat are Lohanda Kharana, and Dala Chhatha, and the fourth and the last day is Paran day.
The first Chhath Parva, celebrated in Chaitra (March-April) is Chaitra Chhatha or Chaiti Chhatha Puja.
The second one takes place in the month of Kartik (October-November), which begins on the sixth day after Diwali.
Dates of Chaity Chhatha Puja/Yamuna Chhatha/ Katyayani Puja/ March 2023
Yamuna Chhatha/ Katyayani Puja, which is also Yamuna Jayanti, happens in the Shukla Paksha in the lunar month of Chaitra in Mathura and Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh.
Saturday, 25th March: Chaitra Shukla Chaturthi, Chhatha Puja 1st day: Nahai Khai. The first Arghya will be with the rising sun on Saturday, March 25, 2023.
Sunday, 26th March: Chaitra Shukla Panchami, Chhatha Puja 2nd day: Lohanda Kharana. The specialty of this event is that people observe this fast without the intake of water.
Chhatha Puja (third day)
Monday, 27th March: Chaitra Shukla Shashti, Chhatha Puja 3rd day: The time to perform Dala Chhath or Sandhya Arghya happens in the evening.
Tuesday, 28th March: Chaitra Shukla Saptami, Chhatha Puja 4th day: Suryodaya Arghya. This Arghya is in the morning on the last day, the Paran Day.
Kartik month, Chhath Puja Vrat/ Surya Shashthi/ Dala Chhath, the Surya Chhath Parva
The second one happens in the month of Kartik, beginning with the first Arghya, which is on the sixth day after Deepawali. It is more popular than Chaiti Chhath.
The first Argya will be on Friday, 17th November, 2023. Dala Chhath will be on the third day, which happens on Sunday, November 19, 2023.
Chhath Mahaparva or the second Surya Chhatha Parva comes after Diwali in the Shukla Paksha of Kartik month. It is based on the lunar calendar (Amavasyanta).
Each day of this four-day-long Chhatha Puja festival has a different significance.
Dates of Chhatha Puja Vrat, November 2023
17 November Friday: 1st day- Chaturthi, Nahay Khay: The first Arghya starts with the rising sun on Friday, November 17, 2023.
18 November, Saturday: 2nd day- Panchami, Chhatha Puja, Lohanda Kharna: This fast is tough as it is without the intake of water.
19 November, Sunday: 3rd day-Shashti, Dala Chhath Puja: Sandhya Arghya is in the evening.
20 November, Monday: It is the 4th and last day of Chhatha Puja. Chaitra Shukla Saptami is the Paran Day/ the day for Suryodaya Arghya.
Usha Arghya event is in the morning on the last day, which is the Paran day of Chhatha Puja.
The method for the four events
The method for the four events for the second Surya Shashti or Surya Chhatha Puja, which falls in the month of Kartik, is as follows:
Nahay Khay or Nahai Khai
1) The first day is observed on Chaturthi, especially by ladies folk, which is Nahay Khay or Nahai Khai.
They observe this by taking bath in the river, preparing Prasad for the Lord Sun offering Arghya to the rising sun, and eating a special dish only once on that day.
This event will be on Friday, 17th November 2023.
Lohanda and Kharna
2) The second day is Panchami which is known as Lohanda and Kharna which means purifying.
People keep this fast without taking even a drop of water, this fast is ended only after sunset by offering fruits and food (Bhog) to the sun.
This event happens on Saturday, 18th November 2023.
Dala Chhatha or Surya Shashti
3) The third day is Dala Chhatha which is also known as Surya Shashti.
People perform this Sandhya Arghya on Kartik Surya Shashti which is the third day. They do it by keeping day and night fast. They worship, and offer fruits and Arghya to the setting Sun in the evening.
This event will be on Sunday, 19 November 2023.
4) The Tithi of the fourth and the last day will be on Saptami.
Usha Arghya or Chhath Paran day of Puja
Usha Arghya or Chhath Paran day of Puja is the last day which ends after a thirty-six-hour fast by offering Arghya to the rising sun.
Chhath Paran day, which is the last day will be on Monday, 20th November 2023, in the morning. As Paran means the end, Paran- the day of Puja means the last day of Puja.