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Main day of Chhath today, no public celebrations in Kathmandu

File: A Chhath celebration in Kathmandu in 2019. Photo: Bikas Shrestha

Kathmandu, November 20

The main day of Chhath, a Hindu festival mainly observed by Madhesis in Nepal, is today this year.

People worship and offer holy water to the setting sun this evening.

The five Pandava brothers, as per the Mahabharat, had worshipped the sun while they were living in hiding after losing their kingdom to the Kauravas while gambling. The Pandavas are said to have taken refuge in the palace of King Birat. According to legends,  the Sun worship festival began at that time.

As per Surya Purana, Anasuya, the wife of sage Atri, once took fast, wishing for good luck and love of her husband. The sun is said to have granted her her wishes. People started celebrating the festival at that time.

As per Samba Purana, Lord Srikrishna and sage Durbasa cursed Samba. As a result, Samba contracted leprosy but he got well after worshipping the Sun.

There’s a popular belief that those, who fast during Chhath, get rid of poverty and miseries. The Sun God becomes happy when devotees offer him bunches of fruits, so goes the belief.

No public celebration in Kathmandu

Although people living in Nepal’s southern plains only used to celebrate the annual Hindu festival worshipping the sun god, the people from Terai currently living in the Kathmandu valley have been gathering on riverbanks and at ponds for the celebrations for the past few years.

However, district administration offices in the valley have prohibited public celebrations this year owing to the coronavirus infection risk.

State officials including President Bidya devi Bhandari had been participating in the celebrations in the past years. This year, they have extended their greetings early morning, urging the public to be safe from the virus while observing the festival.

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