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Pratihar Sasthi – Surya Sashthi – Nari Shasthi

Pratihar Sashthi, also known as is Surya Sashthi or Nari Shasthi or Chhath Puja, is an important and popular ritual observed by people of Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand in India and in the Terai Region of Nepal after Diwali. In 2023, Pratihar Sashthi – Surya Sashthi date is November 19. This fasting is also known as Chhath Puja and is also observed in eastern parts of Uttar Pradesh and in some parts of Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.

Pratihar Sashthi – Surya Sashthi – Nari is dedicated to Lord Surya (Sun), Agni (fire) and Lord Kartikeya or Muruga. People undertake this Vrat for the well being of the family. It is believed that people get their wishes fulfilled, if they observe the vrat.

There is a popular belief that worshiping Surya will help in curing diseases like leprosy and also ensure longevity and prosperity of the family. The fast is mainly kept by women, in many places men also join in the ritual and observe fast.

On the Sashti day, devotees offer ‘Argh’ to setting sun (Lord Surya) along with ‘soop’ at a pond, seashore or riverbank. ‘Argh’ and ‘soop’ are offerings and consists of flowers, fruits, sprouted grains, dry coconut, sugarcane, white radish, sweets and khajuri. The offering is made to Surya by standing in knee-deep water.

In the evening pujas are performed at home and a special puja is done for Agni – fire god. This puja is performed in a special area cordoned off by four sugarcane sticks.