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Devotees offer 'arghya' keeping COVID-19 protocols at bay, concludes Chhath Puja


New Delhi, Nov 21: Thousands of devotees gathered to offer morning prayers to the rising sun on the last day of Chhath Puja on Saturday. It can be seen that most people across the country stuck to the traditional practice of offering prayers at river banks on the concluding day of the four-day Puja, flouting the guidelines issued to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease.

chhath puja

According to reports, Lucknow's Gomti riverfront, the Ganga banks in Varanasi and Patna and other places in Mumbai, Delhi and Bhubaneswar were abuzz with devotees despite the COVID-19 restrictions. However, many devotees decided to stay back home to offer 'arghya' to the rising sun from temporary water bodies, made specifically for the festival inside their campuses.

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Meanwhile, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar also celebrated the festival at his official residence. He offered 'arghya' to the setting sun, a tradition he has been following since he became the CM 15 years back. Deputy chief minister Renu Devi also performed Chhath at her home town Bettiah.

The four-day celebration period of Chhath Puja, dedicated to the Sun God, see rituals known as Prathihar, Dala Chhath, Chhathi, and Surya Shashthi.

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    On the first day, 'Nahay Khay', a traditional meal, is prepared and served in the afternoon. On the second day of the Puja, worshippers observe 'Nirjala Vrata' (fast without drinking even a drop of water) and they break their fast only in the evening after worshipping the sun during sunset. The third day of the Puja is called 'Sandhya Arghya' and devotees again observe a day-long fast and break it only the following day after sunrise.

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