Millions celebrate 'Chhat' in Bihar

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Patna, Nov 4 (UNI) 'Chhat', worshipping of the Sun God, was today celebrated by millions of devotees across Bihar by offering obeisance to the setting sun.

Lakhs of devotees, both men and women from all walks of life, assembled on the banks of the Ganges to offer their obeisance to the setting sun after keeping fast since last night.

The four-day festival would end tomorrow when the same devotees would offer their obeisance to the rising sun.

Claiming that 'Chhath' festival was the only of its kind in the world which enabled the devotees to offer their oblation to the setting as well as the rising sun, the people said during the period an absolute peace and tranquility was maintained all over the state. This tradition was being maintained for several decades now.

Apart from the general public several political leaders took part in 'Chhath' along with their families.

Among them was Railway Minister Lalu Prasad and his wife Rabri Devi, Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly, who constructed a special tank inside their house here to avoid going all the way to the river bank to offer obesiance, like thousands of other devotees.

'Chhath' was also being celebrated for the first time this year in Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's residence in which even his distant relatives were taking part.

Large number of Lalu-Rabri Devi's familiy members, including their sons, daughters and grandchildren, apart from many followers of the RJD comprising the MPs and MLAs were participating in the festivity, which began on November two.

Altogether 32 inmates of Darbhanga district jail, including 15 women convicts, were also performing the 'Chhath puja' inside the jail premises for the third year in a row, thanks to the full cooperation from the district as well as the jail authorities.

As per the strict puja rituals, special earthen stoves had been prepared for cooking 'prasads' by the selected devotees from among over 200 jail inmates.

A 10 by 15 feet tank had also been created in the open space of the jail to enable the convict devotees to offer their obeisance to the Sun God.

UNI ABA RH SJC RL RN1915

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