October 23, Birgunj. As the Chhath festival is approaching, there is heavy traffic on the main road of Birgunj. It takes longer than usual to reach my place from the clock tower. Bike parking has been done on one side of the road. But it is difficult to find a place to park the bike. Instead of one line, it can be seen that there is two line parking somewhere.
In Birgunj, the festival market is located on the road. As in Ward Dashain, the Chhath festival market is also located on the main road, from Ghantaghar to Mysthan. There is a lot of human activity in this area.
Near the clock tower, there is a plant with ginger. People are not even bothered to get off their bikes. Asks while riding a bike. ‘How are you addicted?’ (How is the ginger?) Trader Deepak Sah replies, ‘Kilo ke saay’ (hundred rupees per kg). They try to understand the price, not buy it.
However, he says, ‘No matter how much you want, take it with you.’ (Come on, take as much as you need. ‘ Deepak replied, “Yes, it is possible by looking at the same.”
Selling ginger for Rs 100 per kg, he had to face a unique question on Monday. “To pull it out without love?” A woman asked. “I didn’t buy it, I bought it,” replied Deepak. “If it is needed during the festival, it must be uprooted, isn’t it?” He sought support.
Deepak is a seasonal trader in Birgunj. This time he is trading in banana house and ginger. He has been selling ginger near the clock tower and has kept a banana house in Minabazar. Deepak has bought ginger with three quintals of bot at Rs 70 per kg. He is confident that the sale of Chhath will be completed by the day of loss.
If a customer buys a kilo, half a kilo and sells it for 100 rupees a kilo, he has also given a discount to the customer who carries a lot. ‘The corporation charges Rs 25 a day. They don’t care about profit or loss, ‘he said.
Ginger with plant is required in Chhath festival. In Chhath, only crops are used. But not everyone cultivates and not everyone is equal in the same field. So people who fast on Chhath buy it from the market and take it away. Not only ginger, but all the items required for filling koshi and giving argha in Chhath festival are available in the market. Vishwaki Sapna Devi has a lot to buy for Chhath. There is a lot of people like him in the market of Birgunj.
Due to Chhath festival, the activity of people in Birgunj has increased as compared to normal day. People have come to the market from Birgunj and surrounding villages to procure the necessary items for the Chhath festival. The main market area of Birgunj, Ghantaghar and the streets of Mysthan area are crowded with people buying and selling similar items.
Birgunj, Mid-Tarai villages, Chhathighat and local FM radio are buzzing with songs of Chhath. In the markets of Terai Madhes including Birgunj, the purchase of pujan and prasad materials, pottery and other rents, cloths, etc. required for Chhath puja has increased.
As in the previous year, Shiva Kumari of Birgunj-16 came to the road of Mysthan on Monday afternoon with the necessary materials for the Chhath festival. But this time he was forced to set up shop. Traffic did not allow the market at Mysthan Chowk. I finally found a shop in the evening. That too on the way to the temple. As soon as the shop was set up, the corporation stopped cheating of Rs. 25. At other times, she sells vegetables and sells koshi fillings and arghas. Suthani, Aruni, Bodi, etc. (Ginger), Hardi (Besar), Nimbu (Lemon), Murahi (Radish) are kept in the shop.
‘I used to set up shop in Mysthan Chowk every year. But this time, the traffic police did not allow me to wear it. I finally put it on in the evening. What happens if you can’t sell? ‘
She said that she used to buy new clothes for her family by selling Chhath items and also to cover the expenses of celebrating Chhath festival. ‘At home we have three daughters and a son. I am teaching everyone. “Everyone should buy new clothes in Chhath,” she said. I have also taken out the expenses of Chhath festival from this. ‘
Chief Inspector of Police, District Traffic Police Office, Parsa, Suman Karki said that trade on the road has been banned. “There is not enough space for vehicles on the road, parking is the same, traffic is disrupted when we allow them to do business,” he said. They have kept the same in the park in front of Mysthan temple. ‘
Birgunj Bazaar is covered with necessary materials for ‘Koshi Bharna’ during Chhath festival. Ginger, Pidalu, Radish, Vesar, Bodi, Coconut, Apple, Orange, Kerala are some of the agricultural products. Ingredients like kasali (betel nut), cardamom, cloves, vermilion etc. are needed for drinking.
How is Chhath celebrated?
In the Terai Madhes, Gorvaddhan is worshiped on the day of Kattik Shukla Dwitiya, i.e. brotherhood. On the same day, the women collectively beat the cows and worship the sun by singing Chhath songs. You have to do a lot of cleansing during Chhath festival. The whole prasadi is cooked in a new stove. The stove is made by bringing soil on the day of milking. After making a stove on an empty stomach, the Vratalu woman eats a special dish of rice called ‘Peetha’. Necessary preparations are started including washing of wheat.
For the festival, sixty rice is mixed with wheat and ground. Halo najoti fruit rice is called sixty rice. Once the stalks of paddy have been harvested, sixty rice is extracted from the re-harvested paddy. It is customary to use the same rice in the form of Akshata and also in Argha.
Chhath begins on the fourth day of Kattik Shukla. Chhath is completed only after giving argha to the rising sun in the morning on the seventh day. Chhath is the main festival of Bhojpuri and Maithili speaking Hindus living in the Terai Madhes. Lately, the attraction of other communities has been increasing in Chhath festival.
In Chhath Puja, the main offering to the sixth mother is thekuva. It is cooked in ghee or mustard oil by mixing bheli and sugar in pure wheat flour. Other offerings offered to the sixth mother include apples, bananas, oranges, raw coconut with water, sugarcane, green body, water chestnut, bhogte, radish, ginger with herbs, seasonal fruits and green vegetables.
This year, the day of ‘Sanjhiya Ghate’, i.e. the main Chhath, falls on Wednesday, November 10. Chhath is completed after giving argha to the rising sun on Thursday morning.
The first day of Chhath, i.e. the fourth day, is called ‘Arwa Irwin’. It is done on this day. Vratalu bathes in streams, streams, rivers, ponds and lakes and eats a pure vegetarian meal of pure garlic and onion beggar.
On the second day, Panchami, the vratals fast without water. Which is called ‘Nahay Khaye’ in the local language. In the evening, after bathing and cleansing, a new stove is made in the worship room of the deity and rice and bheli kheer, rasiyav and wheat bread are cooked in it as prasad. In this way, after fasting for a whole day on Panchami Tithi, it is customary to call Falahar at night as ‘Kharna’ and ‘Rasiyav Roti’. Rasiyav roti is accepted as an offering only after the moon rises and is offered to the moon.
On the main day of the festival, on the day of Kattik Shukla Shashthi, a strict fast is observed and worship is offered to the setting sun. In the evening, the Brahmins wear holy clothes and worship the setting sun in ponds, rivers and lakes with thekkuwa, bhusuwa, banana fruit, betel leaf, betel nut, sugarcane etc. It is also called ‘Sanjia Ghate’.
The festival concludes after one stays awake all night on the day of Shashti and worships the rising sun on the morning of Kattik Shukla Saptami. That is called ‘Paran’.
After that, it is customary for the Vratals to worship at the nearby goddess temples and seek the blessings of the elders in the house. When breaking the fast due to prolonged fasting, they eat other foods only after eating a solution made by mixing ginger and sugarcane in hot water.