Chhath Puja begins today (6 November 2013) with Nahai Khai. It marks the beginning of Chhath Puja in Bihar, Jharkhand, and many other parts of North India.
Chhath Puja is a four-day festival. Nahai Khai is a age-old ritual which includes the ritualistic bath. It follows the preparation of traditional meal of boiled rice and pumpkin. Most of the devotees use dry wood from mango trees and bamboo baskets for cooking.
The following ritual of Nahai Khai is Kharna which is observed when Kheer is cooked and distributed among neighbours, friends and relatives.
The main Chhath Puja is Arghya to the setting Sun on Friday (8 November 2013) and rising Sun on Saturday (9 November 2013).
During Chhath festival, married women observe a fast for 36 hours and devotees traditionally offer wheat, milk, sugarcane, bananas and coconuts to the Sun.