Patna, Nov 16: A large number of devotees will gather on the banks of Ganga and other rivers across Bihar this evening to offer 'Araghya" to the Sun God on the occasion of Chhath puja.
The 'Araghya' is offered to the setting sun on the sixth day of Diwali.
The offerings comprise fruits, home-made sweets like thekuas, pedas, pakwan, chawal ke laddoos, raw vegetables and the first crop from the fields. All these sweets and offerings are arranged in scoops, baskets and trays made up of bamboo.
Sun God, considered the god of energy and life-force, is worshipped during Chhath for well-being, prosperity and progress.
On the first day, devotees, mostly women, take a dip in the river and start fasting that runs till the last offering on the fourth day.
On the second day, puja is performed at home, while over the next two days devotees take a dip in the rivers and offer special prayers to the Sun God seeking welfare and prosperity of their families.
Popularly called as ''bratees'' in local dialect, festival will conclude on Saturday after devotees make offerings to the rising sun following the prayers and worship.
The festival is especially significant for married women who observe a two-day fast and offer prayers standing waist-deep in water and offer fruits and flowers to the Sun God.
The Bihar Government has made elaborate arrangements to ensure safety and comfort for the devotees at all ghats.
Some of the ghats in Patna and other districts of the state have been declared ''dangerous''. Besides, the use of crackers has already banned on all ghats.
Security personnel have been pressed into service at several ghats to keep an eye on activities.
Sailing of boats will be only allowed only after prior permission from the District Administration.
Over the years, Chhath has become a festival closely identified with Bihar - comparable to Bihu of Assam, Pongal of Kerala and the Ganesh festival of Maharashtra.