The ancient Hindu festival Chhath, dedicated to worshipping Sun, which attracts millions of people in India, has reached the American shores too. More than 200 people mostly Indian American had gathered on Tuesday evening on the banks of the historic Potomac river in Sterling, Virginia – a suburb of Washington – as four fasting women took a dip in the water and performed pooja of the Sun God.
“This is our third year, but the largest gathering so far,” Kripa S Singh, a software engineer from Patna, said, as his wife Anita performed the pooja on the banks of Potomac river.
“More people are expected in the morning,” said Singh, who started the Chhath pooja alone on the river banks in 2009.
Some of the attendees came even from faraway places like New Jersey.
The pooja is being performed by Govind Jha, a priest at the local Rajdhani Mandir, a temple in Virginia.
It all started some four years ago, when Anita was asked by her mother-in-law in Bihar to do Chhath pooja come what may as this is something they could not afford to miss.
Singh inquired among his friends and other Indian American community leaders if anyone here performed the Chhath Pooja.
They found that people, if any, did it inside their homes or at the most in a makeshift plastic tub full of water.
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