Embark on the four-day journey of Chhath Puja, commencing on November 17 and culminating on November 20. Discover the essence of the beloved Chhath Puja prasad items that hold a significant place in this revered celebration.
Chhath Puja, a prominent Hindu festival observed on the sixth day after Diwali, resonates with immense zeal in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, West Bengal, and Nepal. Tracing its roots back thousands of years, the festival is believed to have originated in the Mithila region of Nepal and Bihar. Dedicated to the Sun God and his sister, Chhathi Maiyya – regarded as the daughter of Lord Brahma – Chhath Puja is primarily observed through fasting, predominantly by women, though men may also partake.
This year, the Chhath Puja rituals commence with Nahay Khay on November 17 (Friday), followed by Kharna on November 18 (Saturday), Sandhya Arghya on November 19 (Sunday), and concluding with Usha Arghya on November 20 (Monday). While Rasiya graces the second day of Chhath, most prasad items are prepared from Day 3 onward, distributed on the final day of the festival after the morning arghya is presented to the rising sun.
Here are eight prasad items devoutly offered to Chhathi Maiyya:
- Thekua: This Indian cookie, crafted from whole-wheat flour, jaggery or sugar, and ghee, stands as a beloved Chhath prasad. Thekua, with its versatile transformations into khajuria, tikari, and thokni, is an integral part of the daliya or soopa during Chhathi Maiyya’s worship, eagerly awaited by children post the paaran day puja.
- Rasiya: A mouthwatering prasad prepared on the second day of Chhath Puja (Kharna), Rasiya is enjoyed with roti by those observing the Chhath fast. Serving as the final meal before the 36-hour ‘nirjala’ period, which concludes after Sandhya Arghya on the following day of Kharna and Usha Arghya on the final day of Chhath Puja, Rasiya consists of mashed ripe bananas, grated coconuts, jaggery, milk, ghee, cardamom powder, and chopped nuts, slow-cooked on a flame.
- Banana: A revered bhog item, bananas hold a significant place in Chhath Puja. Symbolizing Lord Vishnu in Hindu mythology, the banana tree is considered auspicious and is also regarded as Chhathi Maiyya’s favorite fruit.
- Khajoor: An alternative version of Thekua, Khajoor, or khajuria, is made with all-purpose flour, suji (semolina), dry fruits, and sugar instead of jaggery.
- Daabh Nimbu: Rich in vitamin C, Daabh Nimbu is not only a favored offering to Chhathi Maiyya but also boasts health benefits. High in fiber and essential nutrients, it supports digestive health and serves as a superfood for preventing heart diseases due to its antioxidant and flavonoid content.
- Coconut: Fresh coconut and coconut-based dishes are integral to Chhath prasad, providing instant energy and rich sources of good cholesterol, fiber, potassium, and iron.
- Water Chestnut: The Chhath daliya encompasses healthy and nutritious prasad items, including water chestnut, also known as singhara. This hydrating, low-calorie fruit is rich in antioxidants, aids digestion, and regulates blood pressure.
- Sugarcane: Considered auspicious for any puja, sugarcane is a vital part of Chhath Puja. The fresh harvest is offered to goddess Chhathi Maiyaa, seeking her blessings during this sacred festival.