Chhath kicks off in Mithila region

Mahottari, October 27 :

Formal celebrations of Chhath festival started in Mithila region today. Devotees who were fasting offered rice pudding to the sun god and ate it as prasad.

The festival is celebrated to pray for happiness, prosperity and long life of the family members. It is believed there will be childbirths, healing of skin diseases and good health if the festival is celebrated.

Chhath festival goes on for four days. The first day falls on the day of Chaturdashi. On this day, devotees trim their nails and purify their body. Yesterday was Chaturdashi. However, the festival is celebrated mainly on the days of Sasthi and Saptami. The sun god is worshipped and prayers are offered to him. Devotees pray to the setting sun on sasthi and the rising sun on saptami.

Thousands of devotees from 15 VDCs in Mahottari and Dhanusha are suffering from skin diseases as they take bath in the Bighi river every year. The skin diseases crop up because a paper mill nearby has been dumping effluents in the river.

Though the people of Mahottari and Dhanusha have been pressing for this for years, their demand has not been met, said, chairperson of the Mahottari Chambers of Commerce and Industries’ Association, Bijaya Kumar Shah.