Ranchi/Hazaribag, Nov 20 (PTI) Lakhs of men and women thronged ghats of rivers and water bodies across Jharkhand on Monday to pay tributes to the rising sun, as part of Chhath festivities.
Amid devotional songs and bursting of firecrackers, devotees, who observed a gruelling 36-hour fast, offered ‘Usha arghya’ to the rising sun since early morning.
Many men carried wicker baskets on their heads, heavy with items used in the ritual worship, to ghats of rivers and water bodies to offer puja.
Odisha Governor Raghubar Das, along with his family members, offered salutations to the sun in Jamshedpur, while several parliamentarians and legislators from different political parties observed the rituals at their respective places.
The four-day festivities began on November 17 with ‘Nahaay Khaay’, when devotees and their family members take sattvic food after a ritual bath, followed by ‘Kharna’ a day later when ‘prasad’ of rice pudding and rotis is shared with family and friends.
The festivities concluded on Monday morning, with salutations to the rising sun, after which devotees broke their fast with fruits and ‘thekua’, a fried pancake sweetened with jaggery, to which the festival owes its popularity among children.
Meanwhile, as many as 40 inmates at the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Central Jail in Hazaribag also took part in the Chhath festivities, its Superintendent Kumar Chandra Shekhar said.
“The jail administration allowed the devotees to perform Chhath puja, and an artificial pond was constructed for the purpose. The prison authorities also made sufficient arrangements for providing 'prasad' to about 1,826 inmates,” he said.
Ranchi's Additional District Magistrate (Law and Order) Rajeshwar Nath Alok said adequate security arrangements had been ensured at all Chhath ghats in the city.
No untoward incident was reported from any of the water bodies where security personnel helped the devotees complete the puja safely in the morning, officials said. PTI SAN BDC RBT