Chhath Concludes Peacefully in Patna; No Festivity at Lalu Household

Devotees observing Chhath at a Patna ghat.

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Patna: The state's most revered festival Chhath came to a peaceful end on Wednesday with the offering of the morning 'Arghya' at dozens of ghats in Patna and the rest of Bihar though, like recent years in the past, a large number of people prayed Sun God at makeshift water tanks and swimming pools to avoid the crowd and rush at the river banks in Patna.

By and large, the event passed peacefully with no incident of death due to drowning or any other tragedy related with the festival.

In Patna, the crowd started to swell at various ghats well before the sunrise. Men, women, and children walked several kilometers to reach the ghat of their choice where they waited for the first sign of sun rising.

With visibility only a few feet due to dense fog in the morning, Chhath observers began the ritual with hymns and pouring of the milk as family members took turns to offer their obeisance to the Sun God.

Millions of people, standing in bodies of water, including the Ganges, various ponds, and makeshift backyard and rooftop tanks, prayed to the rising sun on Wednesday morning.

In an attempt to avoid the massive rush at dozen or so Patna ghats, devotees started to arrive at their favorite banks as early as 3:00 am. By 6:00 am, all ghats were filled to capacity.

Once out of water, 'Chhathis', as the Chhath observers are called, finished puja on the dry land amidst the playing of Chhath songs in the background.

Heavy crowd was witnessed at the Digha Ghat that drew crowd from nearby areas including Boring Road, Bailey road, Ashiana Nagar, and Raja Bazaar, among others.

Equally crowded were other ghats in Patna including Collectorate Ghat, Adalatganj Ghat, Gandhi Ghat, PMCH ghat, and Mangal Talab where large number of people turned up due to the closure of several other ghats on account of unsafe condition.

By 9:00 am, however, the crowd started to thin as the devotees, after having gone without food for over 36 hours, started to make way for their homes where they broke their fast by consuming fruits, thekuas, and other items associated with the festival.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar offered 'arghya' at the swimming pool at his residence on 7 Circular Road where Kumar's sister-in-law (Bhabhi) Geeta Devi, the wife of Chief Minister's elder brother Satish Kumar, was observing the Chhath.

Just few yards away from the Chief Minister's residence, however, there was doom and gloom at the house of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav that has been hit with a plethora of personal and political scandalS one of which landed the once mighty political juggernaut into a jail.

Earlier, former Chief Minister and wife of the RJD chief, Rabri Devi announced she would not be observing Chhath this year due to her husband languishing in the jail and her eldest son and former Bihar Health Minister Tej Pratap Yadav, after seeking divorce from his wife of six months, left home refusing to return until he had the support of all family members.

The Chief Minister, along with several NDA leaders and top government officials, later took a boat ride in the Ganga from where he waved at the devotees while wishing all good things for Bihar.

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