As the rituals of ‘Chhat’ festival started with Naha-Kha (Bathe and Eat) on Tuesday, the fruits and vegetable price reached a new height across the Dhanbad-Bokaro districts. The devotees are facing the usual pocket pinch in buying the essentials, including soop and daura, required for the rituals.
Sugarcane which is a necessary fruit offered during Arghya, was not available in the Chas market today, might be available tomorrow at Dundibazar tomorrow, said Vikram a resident of Chas.
The prices of soops have gone up to Rs 170 while a daura costs Rs 140-160 this year against Rs 80-120 in last year, said Vinod a resident of Sector 2 in Bokaro. His mother and wife are performing the puja for over five years.
The bottle gourd (kaddu or gheeya) sold between the ranges of 65 to 80 rupees per kgs, earlier it was selling at 16 rupees per kgs. “Similarly carrot is being sold at Rs 160 per kgs, ginger Rs 180, radish Rs 100, cauliflower between Rs 80 while potato at Rs 15 per kgs. Most of these items, apart from fruits, are essential to offer the Sun God during the festival”, he added.
Ahead festival apples are available at Rs 150 per kgs while Oranges at Rs 110 per kgs, said Lalan a resident of City Centre Sector-4 at Bokaro.
On the first day of the festival, the devotees took bathe in the nearest river or ponds with belief to wash away their sins and they also clean their homes thoroughly. After taking a bath the devotees cook a traditional vegetarian meal and offers it to the Sun God. The worshipers allow themselves only one meal on this day from the preparation.
Worship of the sun has been practised in different parts of India; celebrated on the sixth day of the lunar month after Diwali every year. The rituals usually consist of fasting, folklore, hymns, together with the sombre hues on the banks of the freshwater body, said Mukesh Pandey a Hindu cleric of Ram Mandir of Bokaro.
“It is commonly believed that the wishes of the devotees are always granted. Also, the devotees dread the punishment for any misdeed during Chhath”, he added.
Ahead of festival district administrations and members of several NGOs are on move for inspections and conducting clean drives for several water bodies across the twin districts as devotees traditionally offering prayers to the Sun god after dipping into the river or water bodies.