Samay | UP/Uttarakhand | MP/Chattisgarh | Bihar/Jharkhand | Rajasthan | Aalami Samay

PICS of Chhath festival

PICS of Chhath festival celebrations

The Chhath festival in Bihar came to an end amid fanfare with the devotees offering Morning Arghya or oblations to the Sun God in rivers, ponds and tanks across the state on Thursday. Lakhs of devotees assembled at the river banks and near other water bodies since the wee hours and waited for the Sun to appear at dawn. Fireworks lit the sky as family members of devotees indulged in festivities. Many devotees had spent the night at the river banks itself to avoid returning home and then coming back to the same spot where they had offered the evening 'arghya'. As the Sun appeared on the horizon, people offered fruits, 'thekua' (homemade flour cookies), water, milk and other preparations to the deity and completed the rituals while standing in knee deep water. Afterwards, the devotees broke their two-day long arduous fast by taking prasad and water. Tight security was witnessed at all the river banks with police and paramilitary personnel, as well as, teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) present in all readiness to thwart any untoward incident. Over 12 lakh people participated in Chhath rituals along the Ganga in the Patna district. Youth associations and civil society organisations worked continuously since yesterday to keep the roads, streets and lanes clean and keep them lighted. As the devotees returned from river ghats and ponds after completing the Chhath rituals, the youth organisations who had helped in making the festive occasion a success demanded 'prasad' as favour and the people obliged them happily. The devotees will now spend the day sending 'prasad' to neighbours and relatives and catching up with some rest. A woman devotee prays during 'Chhath festival' celebration in Lucknow on Wednesday.