On the sixth day of the Hindu month of Kartika, which falls in October or November on the Gregorian Calendar, it’s Chhath Puja, a major Hindu festival. Chhath Puja is marked with an official one-day public holiday in some states in India.
|2018||13 Nov||Tue||Chhath Puja||BR & JH|
|14 Nov||Wed||Chhath Puja Holiday||BR|
|2019||2 Nov||Sat||Chhath Puja||BR & JH|
|3 Nov||Sun||Chhath Puja Holiday||BR|
The Chhath Puja festival runs for four days straight. It is a day dedicated to the worship of the sun god, a time when devotees pray to him, thank him for life on earth, and ask him for health and wealth for themselves and their families. Many also bathe in the Ganges River, the waters of which are considered holy.
Some devotees also fast from food and water during Chhath Puja, mimicking the legend of the fast of Rama and Sita to honour the sun god, as recorded in the Ramayana. And the Mahabharata tells another legend of Karna, said to be the offspring of the sun god, praying to the sun god while standing in water, which helps explain the holy dip in the Ganges tradition.