Elaborate preparations for Chhat

KATHMANDU: The four-day long Chhat, a major festival of Mithilanchal is being celebrated from today in Mid and Eastern Tarai.

The devotees primarily worship the Sun god at dawn and twilight and undergo fasting. Many refrain from eating non-veg food and switch to a vegetarian diet by eating banana, sugarcane, thakuwa and bhusuwa, among others, during this festival.

Meanwhile, in Kathmandu, the Terai Cultural Foundation is all set to celebrate the Chhat at Ranipokhari on October 24 and 25.

Organising a press conference here today, the Foundation said an elaborate preparations were underway for the festival.

"Since 15 days, we have been busying ourselves in cleaning the Ranipokhari area. We have also poured water over the Ranipokhari, to increase the water level," said Saroj Kumar Yadav, coordinator of the Mahaparba Chhat Samaroha Samiti-2066 (MCSS).

An estimated 22,000 people observed the Chhat last year.

This year, organisers expect 35,000 participants. More than 35 organisations have supported the programme.

According to Yadav, they would deploy six teams of 25 volunteers in each group throughout the Rani Pokhari area.

Basu Dev Shah, coordinator of Ghhat Management team, said they would prepare 18 blocks around Ranipokhari for 500 families who will begin their fast at Ranipokhari.

Of the 500 families, 225 have already booked their places at Ranipokhari to celebrate the Chhat.

A rally and a wrestling contest is scheduled on October 24, followed by puja, award distribution and cultural event the following day.