Amongst the many festivals celebrated in India, celebrating the advent of a river in a mainland is also a part of the same festivities.
It is not surprising too, keeping in view how agrarian and agricultural a nation India is, water and a river flowing will always be held as important and of great significance. Yamuna Chhath celebrates the birthday or the advent of the river Yamuna on earth.
This day is dedicated to the Goddess Yamuna. Observed on the shashthi or the sixth day of the shukla paksha or the waxing phase of the moon, during the month of Chaitra according to the traditional Hindu calendar or the month of March-April according to the Gregorian calendar; it is considered to be an extremely auspicious day.
This is mostly celebrated in the north Indian states, particularly in Uttar Pradesh. People believe that on the auspicious day of the Yamuna Chhath, happiness and prosperity will be showered on them by the Goddess Yamuna, if worshipped.
Little information about River Yamuna
Amongst the numerous tributaries of River Ganges, River Yamuna happens to be the largest in the northern India. Originating from the Yamunotri glaciers situated in the Banderpooch peaks of the Great Himalayas, falling in the state of Uttarakhand,it covers a distance of nearly 1300 kms before plunging in the holy Ganges in the Triveni Sangam, in Allahabad.
Rituals of the Yamuna Chhath
- Devotees wake early and have a cleansing bath in the Yamuna River before dawn. Baths are also taken during the dusk. Devotees believe that taking a bath in Yamuna on this particular day will usher in joy and prosperity in their lives. They also believe that bathing in this river will have a cleansing effect on their soul.
- Special puja is offered to the Goddess Yamuna at a special muhurta or time. Since Goddess Yamuna myth logically is reckoned as the companion of Lord Krishna, he too is invoked on this day.
- Devotees observe a strict fast for the whole day
- Naivedyam or special food offerings are prepared for the Goddess Yamuna, which post the Puja is distributed amongst Brahmins and the Prasad amongst relatives.
Significance of Yamuna Chhath
Yamuna Chhath is significant according to Hindu religion for the following reasons-
- It heralds the advent of the Yamuna river on earth
- It signifies the manifestation of the Goddess Yamuna in the river Yamuna
- Yamuna is a companion of Lord Krishna
- Yamuna is the daughter of the powerful Surya Dev, who gives us light and warmth
- It is believed that bathing in her water can bring the devotees eternal love, joy, peace and prosperity.
Nearly 1.5 lakh people are each year expected to pour in the ghats of Yamuna to offer their prayers to the rising and the setting sun. For this reason the administration takes the mammoth task of cleaning the ghats and sprucing them up for the devotees.