After two years of restrictions due to Covid, thousands of devotees gathered at ghats and makeshift ponds in the capital on Sunday to worship the sun god as part of Chhath Puja celebrations.
Devotees sang devotional and folk songs and offered ‘arghya’ to the sun god while standing in knee-deep water at ghats or makeshift ponds. Chhath puja is celebrated on the sixth day after Diwali and is also known as Surya Sashthi as it is dedicated to the sun god. It is one of the most popular festivals in eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
After two years of Covid-induced restrictions, Chhath Puja is widely celebrated in public places in Delhi this year.
Sushma Singh, a devotee and resident of the Indraprastha colony here, said that inflation has hit many people, but this is a sacred festival.
“I’ve been doing Chhath for 20 years. Day by day its popularity is increasing and more people are celebrating.
“The arrangements are good, but it needs improvement. After two years of Covid, we have come here with a ghat. Hope Chhath Maiya will bless everyone and fulfill everyone’s wishes,” Ms Singh told PTI.
Devotees worshiped the setting sun on Sunday evening. They will also worship the rising sun on Monday morning. It involves offering ‘arghya’ to the sun god by fasting women in knee-deep water.
Some devotees said that they should not enter Yamuna for the Puja, but should offer prayers and ‘arghya’ there in makeshift ghats.
“We are here for Chhath Puja. The government has made good arrangements, but we have been asked not to enter Yamuna and instead perform the rituals in ghats made by the river,” Raghunath Kant, a resident of Laxmi Nagar who visited ITO ghat for Chhath Puja, said.
The Delhi government has earned 1,100 ghats for Chhath Puja across the city this year and has increased the budget 10 times from Rs 2.5 crore in 2014 to nearly Rs 25 crore.
Another devotee Ramesh Jha said it was a joyful moment to finally celebrate Chhath Puja on the riverbank after two years.
“There have been no public celebrations for the past two years due to the coronavirus pandemic, but this year they have all gathered to celebrate Chhath together. This is a special feeling. The government has also made good arrangements for the festival,” said Jha .
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NewsMadura staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)