chatt-puja-Chhat puja or the Hindu Sun festival is the most colorful festival in celebration of the Sun. In Navi Mumbai as well, the colors were as beautiful as the other corners of the nation. Realising the importance of the festival and the public sentiments attached to Chhat Puja, the Nagrik Seva Samiti had organized the chhat puja at the Nerul pond on Palm Road. Several believers traditionally worshipped the ‘sun god’ here, which the only occasion when the setting sun is worshipped. Giving an insight on the arrangements and response .It is celebrated twice a year, once in “Chaitra’ (according to the Hindu calendar) which falls in March and in ‘Kartik’ which falls in November. For the four-day festival, people maintain sanctity and purity for a month before the event. Folk songs sung in the honour of ‘Surya Dev’ – The Sun God and ‘Chhati Maiyya’ – The Twilight Mother can be heard at every nook and corner in Bihar. Navi Mumbai News camera lenses captured chhat puja from various other corners of the city as well. The worshippers especially women come with their offerings of flowers and vermillion to the banks of ponds and rivers or other large water bodies, dressed in their finery to observe the setting sun and chant their prayers. They usually observe total fasting for the day and only break it on seeing the sun rise the next morning. Navi Mumbai News spoke to a few believers here. “Chhat Puja” or worship of sun god is especially significant for married women who observe a two-day fast and offer prayers standing waist-deep in water for at least two hours and offer fruits and flowers to Surya, the Sun God. People go to bathing ghats on river banks and pay obeisance to both the rising and the setting sun during the festival which is celebrated from the sixth of Diwali for three days. Traditional music is also an integral part of this festival.

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