Patna, Oct 30:
The four-day long Chhath festival ended peacefully Thursday morning in Bihar. Millions of people, mostly women, took a dip in the river to offer prayers to the rising sun, officials said.
“It is a big relief for the state administration which had made elaborate security arrangements…,” a police official said.
The official said authorities were vigilant after 32 people, mostly women and children, were killed in a stampede during Ravan Cadh in Patna last month.
During the Chhath festival, devotees wore new clothes and sang folk songs as they prayed to the Sun god and lit small earthen lamps that were set afloat on rivers, lakes and other water bodies.
They ended the 36-hour fast by distributing offerings among family members, relatives and neighbours.
The Sun, considered the god of energy and life-force, is worshipped during the Chhath for well-being, prosperity and progress of all.
“We prayed to the rising sun with traditional offerings, including home-made sweets like thekuas, pedas, pakwan, chawal laddoo, fruits, sugarcane and vegetables, to mark the end of Chhath,” Asha Devi, a devotee, said.
According to officials, over 300,000 people gathered on the banks of the Ganga Wednesday evening and Thursday morning to offer prayers.
Similar crowds were seen in Muzaffarpur, Bhagalpur, Begusarai, Darbhanga, Madhepura and other districts.
The festival, once limited to Bihar, is fast becoming popular across the country due to the large-scale migration of workers from Bihar.