Chhath puja ends with reverence to sun god


New Delhi : Hundreds of devotees gathered on the banks of Yamuna river here Sunday and offered obeisance to the rising sun as Chhath puja celebrations ended.

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Women clad in saris held special prayers for the welfare and prosperity of their families by performing a ritual in which they stood waist-deep in water and offered fruits and flowers to the sun.

Ashima Jha, one of the devotees said: “When the sun god rises, we pray to him and offer milk, water and other offerings. It’s like a thanksgiving ritual.”

Aruna Misra, a home maker who could not make it to the river bank but nevertheless offered prayers in a pond near her home, said the basic essence of Chhath is to seek blessings from the forces of nature – as the sun and river are an integral part of the festival for well being.

While Delhi government had made arrangements of tents, drinking water, lights for the devotees on the river banks, a number of people complained about the lack of cleanliness on the ghats.

“The situation at the ghats is a pity. There are places which are so dirty that you can’t even go near it, forget praying there. With not much of a choice, a number of people lit incense sticks to drive away the stink, but it hasn’t helped much,” rued Ashok Misra, a devotee.

J.P. Aggarwal, MP of northeast Delhi, told IANS: “All these days I was inspecting the arrangements for the Chhath puja and especially looked into the cleanliness of the ghats. A few people have been complaining, but we have done our best and overall devotees could celebrate the festival without any hassle.”

The Delhi government made arrangements at 29 ghats on the Yamuna river bank for more than 15 lakh devotees who were observing Chhath.