The four-day celebrations of Chhath Puja began today in different parts of the country with the traditional Nahay Khay ceremony. Puja will conclude on Saturday morning after paying oblation to the rising Sun.
In Bihar, Four day-long Chhath festival commenced today with the ritual of Nahay-Khay. Chhath is a festival of worship of the Sun and it is a symbol of faith of Crores of people across the world.
After taking bath devotees are consuming cooked food items like Arwa rice, Chana dal and gourd as a part of Nahay-Khay ritual.
Tomorrow Kharna will be performed. After that a 72 hours long fast without water will begin which would end on Saturday morning with paying obeisance to the rising Sun.
Devotees will offer their obeisance, the Sandhya Arghya to the setting Sun on Friday. The festival will conclude on Saturday morning with Pratah Arghya.
This time the biggest festival of the state is being celebrated amid Covid -19 pandemic. Several guidelines have been issued to check the pandemic.
Devotees have been advised to follow protocols regarding Covid-19 pandemic. Special Chhath Festival guidelines have been issued. The State government has appealed people to observe the festival in their home as mass gathering may aggravate the pandemic. Use of face mask and observance of social distance is mandatory.
Mass gathering at the banks of all rivers in the state including Ganga, Gandak and Kosi has been prohibited.
Devotees have been advised to perform the Chhath puja at small ponds and other water bodies taking proper precautionary measures. The Chhath ghats will be sanitized as per Covid -19 guidelines by civic authorities.
Organizing Chhath Mela, Jagran and other cultural programmes banned in the state.Kids upto age of 10 years and people above 60 years Old will not be allowed to visit Chhath ghats.
In Uttar Pradesh, Chhath festival will be celebrated with strict adherence to the social distancing guidelines due to corona pandemic. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has ordered officials to make arrangements for Clean Ghats and other facilities for the devotees who gather at the banks of various rivers.
World Health Organization (WHO) has praised the state government for its COVID-19 management strategy and termed it as a good example for other states to follow.
In an official statement The global health body appreciated the efforts made by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his government for the management of COVID-19, especially in tracking high-risk contacts. Principal Secretary Health Alok Kumar said that as on date the state is identifying and testing 13 unique contacts per covid positive case. The statement from WHO says that more than 70,000 front-line health workers worked across the state to reach out to high-risk contacts of positive cases. The survey was conducted in August month and the success rate was 93 percent in tracing the contacts of positive patients.
Meanwhile District administration in many cities has appealed to people who have recently returned from National Capital region Delhi to undergo the Covid test as early as possible. It has been advised in the backdrop of the growing Covid cases in Delhi.
With an aim to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection, Mumbai’s civic body has said that it will not allow Chhath Puja at beaches and riverbanks. In a release, the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai said the city police will have to ensure that people do not crowd at riversides on 20th evening for sunset rituals and on 21st for the sunrise ritual.
The civic body said the decision has been taken as it will be impossible for people to maintain adequate social distancing and other COVID norms, if allowed to gather near water bodies. It said concerned officials will permit limited public gatherings at artificial ponds so that people can offer prayers to the Sun God. Additional Municipal Commissioner Suresh Kakani has said that necessary medical teams equipped with PPE and testing kits will be placed at various locations where artificial ponds have been set up.
Delhi Government has declared holiday on Friday on account of Chhath Puja.
BJP Puravnchal Morcha held a protest march yesterday towards the residence of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal against the government’s decision to ban Chhath Puja on the banks of river Yamuna and public ghats. Delhi Disaster Management Committee has ordered that Chhath Puja will not be held at any public place this time due to the COVID-19 outbreak.