Keeping their family tradition of generations alive, hundreds of Indian-American techies along with their friends and families gathered at a lakefront in the US city of Fremont to worship the Sun God as part of the Hindu festival of Chhath Puja. The four-day Chhath Puja began on November 17. During the festival, devotees fast and gather on the banks of rivers and ponds to offer prayers to the Sun God.
Hundreds of Indian-Americans joined the celebrations in various parts of the US.
“We are celebrating Chhath puja here. We started this back in 2011 and at that time only a couple of people participated. Afterwards, people started joining slowly and after 2014, it actually started to grow. Now you can see it. Around 1,200 people joined us last year,” Rakesh Singh, a resident said.
This year, the organizers in Fremont offered free tickets for entry to the lakefront for the Chhath Puja celebrations.
According to the organizers, the free tickets were grabbed within hours of the system being opened up, with a large number of people on the waiting list.
“We thought how will our children know how Chhath is actually celebrated? It is quite normal to celebrate at home (in India). I took my wife and daughter to the lakefront as I live just nearby. I called my friends, Ajay and Rakesh to inform them that I am celebrating Chhath and they also joined,” Sunil, another resident said.
Chhath Puja is one of the most auspicious festivals in Bihar, Jharkhand and Eastern Uttar Pradesh. The festival is dedicated to Sun God, which people believe sustains life on the earth. The puja is also performed to seek blessings from the Sun God to live a long, healthy, prosperous life.