Kathmandu, November 4
Chhath festival, which began today, is being celebrated across the country with much fanfare.
The festival will also be observed in various locations in Kathmandu Valley, including Ranipokhari, Gaurighat and Kupondole.
This festival is dedicated to the sun, with offerings of prasad and argha made to the rising and setting sun. It is observed for four days, from Kartik Shukala Chaturthi to Kartik Shukla Saptami as per the lunar calendar and falls between October and November in the Gregorian calendar.
The sun considered as the god of energy and of life-force and is worshiped during Chhath festival to promote well-being, prosperity and progress.
The Calendar Determination Committee, Nepal (Nepal Panchanga Nirnayak Samiti) chair Professor Dr Ram Chandra Gautam said that worshiping the sun on the special occasion of Kartik Shukla Paksha fulfills one’s desire.
During the four days of Chhath festival, worshippers practice an ascetic lifestyle; thus observing purity and sleeping on the floor on a single layer of fabric.
Devotee are required to bathe and worship, follow a period of abstinence and segregation from the main household.
Chhath is unique as it is the only holy festival which does not require involvement of any priest.The devotees offer their prayers to the setting sun, and then the rising sun on the last day of the festival.
A version of this article appears in print on November 05, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.