Chhath is a bathing festival of four days. During this period, the worshiper observes ritual purity, and sleeps on the floor on a single blanket. During Chhath-puja the worshippers offer their prayers to the setting sun, and then Chhathi Maiya, Moon and Earth on the first day of fasting.

The majority of worshipers usually are women, however, a large number of men also observe this festival. The devotees pray for the happiness and prosperity of their family. Once a family starts performing Chhath Puja, it is their duty to perform it every year and to pass it on to the following generations. The celebration can only be skipped in case of any tragedy or mishaps in the family, friend and any dearer and nearer.
The prasad offerings include sweets and fruit served in small containers made up of bamboos. The food is strictly vegetarian and it is cooked without garlic, onion and salt.

Strategic gesture for the four days of Chhath Puja

Day 1: Nahakhaa (sacred bath and food)-

The devotees take a dip, in the holy river Ganga, Sagar (Samundra) or other similar sacred place and carry home the holy water to purify the house and surroundings. It is also used for the preparation of the offerings. The devotees eat only one meal on this day as a preparation for the fasting.

Day 2: Kharna (the day prior to Chhath)-

This is the fasting day which is the Panchami, the day before Chhath. The fasting ends in the evening soon after the sunset. After the worship of earth & sun the ‘Prasad’ offering consisting of kheer (rice item), puris and bananas, are distributed to the devotees, Family, Friends and all Dearer and Nearer.

Day 3: Chhath Sanjhiya Arghya (evening offerings)-

On this day, the offerings (Prasad) are prepared at home. In the evening of this day,all the family members accompanies the worshippers to the riverbank, pond or a common large water body to make the offerings (Aragh) to the Setting Sun, Chhathi Maiya and Earth, the Prithvi Mata (Dharati Mata).

During this time, traditional folk songs are sung by the women, which reflect the culture, mythology and history of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

‘KOSI’ is celebrated especially in those families where shortly marriage or childbirth has taken place. On the night of the third day this colorful event is celebrated by lighting the earthen lamps under a canopy of five sugarcane sticks surrounded with the enlightened lamps signify the solar energy. The five sticks signify the human body made of Panchtatva (earth, water, fire, air and sky). After that, it is done at the banks of the river before making the offerings to the rising sun & chhathi maiya.

Day 4: Parna (the day after Chhath)

On the final day of Chhath Puja, the devotees, along with family and friends, go to the riverbank before sunrise, in order to make the offerings (Aragh) to the rising sun. The festival ends with the breaking of the fast by the parvaitin and friends visiting the houses of the devotees to receive the ‘Prasad’.

With all these rituals, the flavour of the festival and fasting comes to an end which is the time for feasting for everyone. Devotees return home while singing the devotional songs with the renewed vigour and belief that Surya Bhagwan will take care of all their worries and He will give them Health, Happiness, Prosperity and longetivity with Kaya cure and Mann Changa.