Chhath Puja, a revered four-day Hindu festival dedicated to the worship of Surya Dev (the Sun God), is set to commence on November 17 and conclude on November 20, according to Drik Panchang. In light of the festival, schools in several states, including Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, West Bengal, and Delhi, have declared holidays on November 19 and November 20. Chhath Puja, deeply rooted in the Indian subcontinent’s history, is celebrated with fervor, especially in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, and West Bengal.
Recognizing the cultural significance of Chhath Puja, schools have exercised discretion to declare holidays during the festival. In particular, the states mentioned have officially announced school closures on November 19 and November 20 to allow students and their families to participate in the festive rituals and celebrations.
Rituals and Significance:
Chhath Puja involves various rituals expressing gratitude to the sun deity, Surya, for life’s blessings. Dedicated to Chhathi Maiya, the sister of Lord Surya, and the sixth form of Devi Prakriti, the festival falls on the sixth day of the lunar month of Kartika, six days after Deepavali, according to the Hindu calendar. Devotees observe holy bathing, fasting, water abstinence, and offer prasad and arghya to the rising and setting sun. The festivities also include a march to riverbanks as part of the celebrations.
Upcoming Holidays in November:
Apart from Chhath Puja, Guru Tegh Bahadur’s Martyrdom Day on November 24, classified as a restricted holiday, and Guru Nanak Jayanti on November 27, a gazetted holiday, are also approaching in November.