The Meaning of Chhath Puja

Chhath Puja also known as Dala Chhath is a 4-day long festival and is mainly celebrated in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Considered as a ‘Mahaparv’, Chhath Puja is all about rigorous fasting and delicious foods. Like any other Hindu festival, food plays a key role in this sacred festival which involves the preparation of ‘prasad’ made in pious ‘Ganga Jal’ on traditional ‘clay çhulha’.

If experts are to be believed, cleanliness and hygiene are of utmost importance during this festival and those who fast don’t even consume water during the holy festival. The dishes might look ordinary, but taste divine when cooked during the 4-day festival that ends after offering áraghya to rising Lord Surya.

Day 1: Ghiya Sabzi and Chawal

The 4-day holy festival starts with ‘Nahaye Khaye’. On this day, bottle gourd (ghiya) is prepared in pure ghee on clay chulha and uses Ganga Jal. It is served with steamed rice and pakoras. This marks the purification of the body for the extensive festival. (Image: Instagram/alakhiyababamandir).

Day 2: Kheer and Puri/Roti

On day 2, women/men observe fast throughout the day and in the evening prepare Kheer (Rasiyaw or Rasia) with jaggery, milk and water. This sweet dish is offered to Lord Surya in the evening along with puri or roti. People break the fast with kheer and puri and there is a custom of inviting family, friends to relish the prasad, as it is believed it helps the body to prepare for the weather change.

Day 3: Thekwa and Kasar

This is the most famous dish of the festival that is prepared with wheat flour, ghee, sugar and dry fruits. A tight dough of the above ingredients is prepared which is further shaped into small/medium tikkis and deep-fried in pure ghee and later in the evening offered to Lord Surya during the evening áraghya.
Kasar is a famous Bihari recipe made during Chhath Puja festival. This easy-to-make dish is best consumed during the winter season as the combination of powdered rice and jaggery keeps the body warm.

Day 4: Green Chana Masala and Fruits

This simple recipe is prepared after soaking green chana overnight. Soaked chana is sauteed in ghee with cumin seeds and green chillies. In some regions, they are offered raw with puris after soaking overnight.
Apart from this, the festival holds a special place for fruits like Daab Nimbu, Ganna, Sharifa and Singhara

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