About 700 people gathered on beach road opposite Kali temple and offered prayers to the setting sun

The beauty of the sun-kissed beaches is something to be viewed and admired personally. But for Biharis it was an added celebration on Monday evening during sunset.

A basket full of fresh fruits and vegetables like pumpkin, radish, apples, pineapple, bijora nimbu (big sized lemon), and bananas, sugarcane and home made sweets like tekwa (traditional sweet) and laddu made of cow ghee along with a lamp was kept ready to be offered as a prayer to the Sun god at sunset. Women draped in bright coloured saris, applied long tika on the foreheads while men were seen in kurta-pyjama.

The festival starts after the fourth day of Diwali, where the house will be dusted and cleaned, said Anitha Ojha, a community member. “On that day it is mandatory for us to cook channa dal and lauki ki subji. Next day, we fast till evening and break it with roti and kheer made of jaggery, milk and rice.

After dinner we offer prayers to Moon God. On the sixth day after Diwali, it is our custom to celebrate Chhath puja on the banks of the river,” she explained.

Close to 700 people gathered at the beach road opposite to Kali temple and offered prayers to the setting sun. Elaborating on the festival, Rajesh said,

“We fast through the day during Chhath puja and we break it only next day morning after worshipping the rising Sun. For us, the Sun God is considered as the source of life and a fulfiller of all the wishes.”

The speciality of the festival is that, both setting and rising of Sun God is worshipped on Karthik Shukla Shasti, the sixth day after Diwali on the Karthik month. The three-day festival is also celebrated in places like Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Terai, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and other places, said Naresh Agarwal, community member and one of the organisers.

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