Modi greets nation on Chhath

New Delhi, Nov 4 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted the nation on the auspicious occasion of Chhath festival, on Friday.

“Chhat puja starts with the tradition of Nahai-Khai. I wish the people on the occasion of this great festival,” Modi said in a statement.

The annual four-day festival began with the age-old ritual of Nahai-Khai — preparation of traditional food after an elaborate bath — across thousands of villages and hundreds of towns spread all over Bihar.

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

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

Over the years, Chhath has come to be closely identified with Bihar — on the lines of Bihu in Assam, Pongal in Tamil Nadu and the Ganesh festival in Maharashtra.