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Ghats witness Chhath Puja devotion amid WC cheers Guwahati | Guwahati News – Times of India

Guwahati: On a vibrant Sunday along the Brahmaputra river ghats, the fervor of Chhath Puja intertwined with the excitement of a cricket clash between India and Australia. Thousands gathered to celebrate the Hindu festival dedicated to the Sun God, some choosing spiritual devotion over the cricket world cup final.
As the India vs Australia thriller began at 2 pm, devoteesstarted arriving at the river ghats, pausing their attention to the cricket match during the dusk prayers dedicated to seeking victory for Team India.In Jorhat town, 300km away, organisers installed giant screens on river ghats for live streaming the world cup final, turning the Chhath Puja grounds into unexpected “cricket worship” sites.
Posters of cricket stars like Rohit Sharma adorned the trees along the Brahmaputra river bank in Fancy Bazar, where Chhath Puja was observed. A giant entrance at Fancy Bazar ghat welcomed devotees with a cricket-themed display.
Barkha Pandey, a BEd student and cricket lover, said, “I missed the action live but prayed to the god from river ghat to shower victory blessings on team India.” An estimated 1 lakh devotees congregated at Fancy Bazar, Uzan Bazar, and Bharalumukh river ghats.
In Jorhat, a giant screen at Jorhat Bhojpuri Samaj ghat catered to young cricket enthusiasts, aligning both Chhath Puja and cricket celebrations. Mantu Sahu, a leading organiser, said, “For the younger generation, cricket is also like a religion.”
Guwahati saw thousands of devotees at Lachit ghat performing Chhath Puja rituals, with plans to offer prayers to the rising sun on Monday morning. Arun Kumar Paswan, president of Yuva Bhartiya Sangha, highlighted the uniqueness of the puja, where prayers are offered to the setting sun and his sister goddess Chhathi, without worshipping any idol.
Paswan emphasized the expanding participation in Chhath Puja, extending beyond North Indian states to communities like Marwaris, Bengalis, and Assamese. Special cultural programs entertained devotees, while safety measures, including first aid, fire tender vehicles, and NCC cadets, were deployed at the ghats.
Rupa Thakur, a devotee from Lal Ganesh, emphasised the significance of the sacred festival, saying, “It is the most sacred festival for us. Before offering the prayers to the sun, we fast for three days. ‘Arghya’ (offerings of fruits, and vegetables to the lord) and holy bath in the flowing river are performed in the morning and evening in the puja.”
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