Meghalaya: Garo Hills celebrate 'Chhat Puja' Festival

Garo Hills celebrate the Chhat Puja Festival.

Meghalaya: Garo Hills celebrate  'Chhat Puja' Festival

In honor of the Chhath festival, thousands of worshippers flocked to the several Chhath Ghats throughout the Garo Hills, including the Mahendraganj part of the region, to offer their prayers to the sun. Worshipping the rising sun, the festival came to a close this morning for the followers. The state capital joins in the festivities as well. 
Numerous Ghats were crowded with thousands of 'Chatti Maiya' devotees, who came to offer prayers and bathe in the chilly early-morning water. The distinctive aspect of the celebration is that followers worship the dying sun the night before, saying prayers to the rising sun and going for an early morning bath.

Held annually to honor the Sun God (Surya), the event takes place six days after Diwali.  The celebration honors the sun for providing the gifts of life on Earth and for being the source of some people's wishes.

The customs involve bathing, giving up water and fasting, standing in the water for extended periods of time, and making gifts of prasad and "arghya" to the rising and setting sun. 

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