Devotees to offer prayers to Sun god on Chhath Puja

Rourkela: Markets witnessed heavy rush in the steel city and other parts of State today with people of Hindi speaking community mostly ‘Biharis’ thronged to buy various fruits, vegetables and other items required on occasion of Chhath Puja.

Ghats along Koel, Brahmani and Sankh rivers and other water bodies in the city have been decked up with colorful lights and decorations as the devotees will offer prayer to the setting Sun God by standing in knee-deep water on the third day of the festival today afternoon.

Special arrangements including makeshift pandals, sandbanks, floodlights and barricades have been put up at the ghats. Elaborate security arrangements have also been made to ensure hassle free celebrations of the festival.

The four-day Chhath puja starts with the ritual of ‘Nahai-Khai’, in which devotees prepare traditional food. The second day is ‘Kharna’, during which devotees observe a day-long fast which ends after sunset.

On the third day, the devotees stand in water and offer ‘Arghya’ to the setting sun. On the most important and final day of the puja, devotees and their friends and relatives assemble at the river banks before sunrise and offer ‘Arghya’ to the rising sun. Chhath Puja is particularly observed by the people from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand.