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Sun hides but festive spirit prevails

Overcast conditions notwithstanding, lakhs of worshippers thronged various ghats and ponds of Jamshedpur on Monday evening and Tuesday morning to offer prayers to the Sun God for Chhath.

Loud firecrackers greeted vratis as they made their way to the river ghats on Tuesday morning to offer arghya to the rising sun. Tiny lamps floated along the Subernarekha as devotees distributed thekua and fruit prasad after the rituals.

However, the sun hid behind the clouds during sanjhiya and bihaniya arghya this year due to overcast conditions. There was no rain though and the chill in the morning air was also missing,

“During Chhath we offer the sanjhiya and the bihaniya arghya to the Sun God and every vrati expects that the sun to shine bright on the day when we offer arghya. But that did not happen this year. It was a bit disappointing,” said homemaker Neelam Devi, a vrati from Shashtrinagar.

Kadma resident Renu Devi, though a little upset that she could not see the sun, was thankful about the unusually warm weather. “Since all the festivals were late this year, we thought it would be chilly at this time. Thankfully, the temperatures were moderate. It is all Chhath maiya’s blessings that we could complete the four-day rigorous rituals smoothly. It is just that we were not able to see the red glowing sun both yesterday and today” she said.

The district administration also took measures to allow people to celebrate Chhath in a hassle-free manner.

“The festival passed off smoothly. We had made proper arrangements for the devotees and the festival was completed without any hiccup. There were no untoward incident reported from anywhere,” said Ajit Shanker, ADM (law and order).

Though thousands of devotees thronged various river ghats, keeping in mind the safety and hygiene factors, many preferred to pay obeisance either on the terrace of their homes or in temporary artificial ponds.

Surya Mandir in Sidhgora attracted a large number of devotees as the managing committee of the temple maintains strict cleanliness during the festivities.

Several temporary camps were also put up by city-based social and cultural organisations to help devotees.