Patna: Devotees observing Chhath, Bihar's 'toughest' religious festival thanks to its rigorous requirements, hit the markets on Wednesday to do their last minute shopping that included clay pots, earthenware ovens, mango tree woods, 'soops', and above all, fruits including bananas and coconuts – items most associated with the annual four-day event that keeps the Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) and the law-enforcement officials on their toes until the event is over.

Thursday marks the beginning of the auspicious festival with devotees observing 'Nahai-Khai' followed by 'Kharna' on Friday. On Saturday November 2, devotees will be performing the evening Arghya and on Sunday, November 3, they will hit Patna ghats to offer morning Arghya marking the end of the festival.

Heavy crowd was seen at local markets in the state capital where a large number of women were seen doing their last-minute shopping for Chhath-related items.

Meanwhile, the prices of many items soared on Wednesday as vendors selling Kaddu, or white squash, clay ovens, 'daura" (bamboo baskets), and 'soop', among other items, taking advantage of the high demand, raised their prices several folds despite many anti-gouging warnings by the district officials.

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