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Chhath PUJA festival held in FLORIDA

The Chhath festival was celebrated from Nov. 8-11 in Florida. Dedicated to Lord Surya (sun) and Chhathi Maiya (known to be the sister of Surya), the ancient Indian festival is widely held in Bihar, Jharkhand, eastern Uttar Pradesh and the country of Nepal.

It is the only Vedic festival that is dedicated to the Sun God, who is supposed to be the source of all powers, and Chhathi Maiya (another name for goddess Usha). Historically, it is said that Chhath was first performed by Karna, who ruled the Anga Desh (now under Bihar). King Karna is considered an offspring of Lord Surya and Kunti. Others legend suggests that in ancient time, Draupadi and Pandavas of Hastinapur believed the worship of Lord Surya would help regain their lost kingdom.

Lasting for four days, devotees (or Vratins as they are called) went on a strict fast, took dips in water bodies, stood and offered prayers in water, and also prasad to the sun at sunrise and sunset. Several lok-geet (traditional Chhath songs) were sung by the devotees dressed in traditional colorful clothes.

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