Four-day Chhath ends

KATHMANDU: Hundreds of devotees prayed and offered holy water to rising Sun early morning that marked an end to the four-day long Chhath here today.

At wee hours of the morning, the devotees thronged the banks of the sacred rivers -- Bagmati, Bishnumati and Manohara -- for the worship of the rising Sun. And as the Sun god rose above the horizon, they offered him holy water from the sacred rivers and lakes.

The festival that had been confined to Tarai region for quite sometime, has been gaining popularity in other parts of the country too.

"More people from outside the Tarai region are embracing Chhath festival than ever, therefore, the number of devotees increased this year," Deepak Kumar Gupta, joint-coordinator of the Mahaparba, Chhath Samoraha Samiti (MCSS), told The Himalayan Times. At Ranipokhari -- the historic lake in Kathmandu-- Terai Cultural Foundation and the MCSS had made an elaborate preparation for the festival. According to Gupta, the devotees bathed in holy water on the first day of the Chhath. They gathered on the second day for fasting.

On the third day, the devotees offered prayers to setting sun and remained awake the whole night, without food.

On the last day, today, devotees prayed the rising sun and broke their fasting. The devotees ate vegetarian food consisting of banana, sugarcane, thekuwa and bhusuwa, Gupta added.