BIRGUNJ, Oct 27: This year on October 26, right after their major festivals Dashain and Tihar, Hindus in the country's tarai region and capital Kathmandu are observing the Chhath festival with much gusto and fanfare.
The celebration of Chhath also signifies harmony and coexistence in the multi-cultural country. The festival is dedicated to the worship of the Sun god, the divine deity revered for blessing the people with progress and prosperity and healing power.
The festival is celebrated especially in the southern plains of the country. It is celebrated for four days by following a rigorous routine, with last day of this year's celebrations falling on Friday.
In Birgunj of Parsa district, devotees thronged the local rivers and ponds to offer their prayers the Sun god. Around 30,000 devotees observed the festival on the banks of the Sardia River and various pondswhich were decorated for the festival Those devotees performed various rituals like fasting, holy bathing and meditating among other activities.
The festival was observed with full fanfare and fervor not only in the urban areasbut also in the rural areas of the district. The devotees' enthusiasm was observed also the banks of rivers and ponds in Tilabe, Naurangiya, Sikta, Manawa, Baugi, and Bhuluhi among others.
Not only Hindus of various castes and creeds but also people of other religions joined hands with the devotees to mark the festival of harmony.
In Birgunj, the shores of Ghadiarba pond were the most crowded. Devotees offered prayers to the rising and setting sun also on the shores of other ponds such as Ranighat, Mudli, Nagawa, Radhemai, Laxchumanawa, Bhutandevi, Tejrath etc.
According to police, the festival was observed peacefully in Birgunj. “There was a lot of excitement. Yet the celebration was very peaceful,” said Police Inspector Anish Karna. “We were highly alert to ensure security during the celebrations,” he added.
Similar enthusiasm was observed in Lekhnath-Pokhara of Kaski district. Ponds and temples saw a high numbers of devotees. Narayansthan Temple, Ritteghat Tribeni Dham and Kedareshwar Temple observed high number of devotees.