Varanasi, Nov 16 (UNI) Thousands of women after bathing in the holy Ganga at various ghats here offered 'Gangajal' to the setting sun on the occasion of Dala Chhath festival today.
The devotees reached various ghats by singing folk songs and after taking bath in the river to offer 'Gangajal' to the setting sun.
Tomorrow, they will again come to the river bank and offer 'Gangajal' to the rising sun, which would mark the conclusion of the festival rituals.
As per the custom, women observe fast and pray to the Sun God for the longevity and prosperity of their sons and husbands.
'Chhath' is generally celebrated on the banks of river and ponds.
The devotees start their preparations three days back and indulged in brisk purchasing of sugarcane, seasonal fruits, bamboo baskets and other items.
The process of observing fast began last evening.
The festival of 'Dala Chhath' is also being celebrated on the banks of Surya Kund with great enthusiasm.
District administration has made elaborate security arrangements to prevent any untoward incident.
Six magistrates, besides heavy forces were deployed at various points for peaceful and smooth conduct of festival. No vehicular traffic was allowed on the routes leading to ghats.
Although Dala Chhath is prominently celebrated in Bihar, but since Varanasi is the neighbouring Uttar Pradesh district, it is celebrated on a large scale here.
The festival is also gaining popularity in other districts of UP.
It is now celebrated in the distant lands of Trinidad, Tobago and Mauritius, where natives of Bihar comprise a large population.