"My greetings on the auspicious occasion of Chhath Puja. May the blessings of the Sun God brighten our lives with joy, peace and prosperity," he said.

"Bowing to sun, we should also take the pledge for cleanliness, purity and belief in nature along with the pledge of Swachh Bharat," he said.

The festival is celebrated with fervour in several states especially in Bihar, while a public holiday has been declared in Delhi on Wednesday.

Chhath is celebrated six days after Diwali. It is dedicated to the Sun god, and is one of Bihar's most popular festivals.

Sarita Devi, another ‘varti’, said that they used only dry wood from mango trees and bamboo baskets for cooking.

After nahai khai, another ritual
'kharna' is observed when 'kheer' will be cooked and distributed among neighbours, friends and relatives, followed by main offerings of argya to the setting Sun on Friday and rising Sun on Saturday.

During the festival, married women observe a fast for 36 hours and devotees traditionally offer wheat, milk, sugarcane, bananas and coconuts to the Sun.

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