FAQ: What are the Restrictions on Chhath Puja in Delhi & Bihar?
While Delhi and Jharkhand have banned Chhath puja from water bodies, Bihar has made masks mandatory.
In order to check the spread of COVID-19, states like Delhi and Jharkhand have decided to restrict devotees from offering prayers and conducting rituals along banks of water bodies on the occasion of Chhath puja, which will be celebrated between 20 and 21 November.
Here’s a detailed look at what’s allowed and what's not in Delhi, Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal.
Can devotees offer Chhath prayers along the Yamuna in Delhi?
Keeping in mind the recent surge in number of coronavirus cases that has led to a third wave in Delhi, the Aam Aadmi Party government has decided to not allow community Chhath Puja celebrations at ghats, the state’s health minister Satyendar Jain said on 12 November.
In addition to this, Chhath Puja cannot be performed at public places, river banks and temples in Delhi, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority had said.
What are the Chhath Puja rules in Jharkhand?
The state of Jharkhand, too, has banned Chhath puja along the banks of water bodies, stating “public ponds, lakes, rivers, dams, reservoirs shall not be permitted in view of Covid-19 pandemic.”
According to the state government, since the ritual is observed at a given time, it would not be possible to ensure that social distancing is maintained. Chhath puja rituals require devotees to congregate near water body, take a dip in the water and offer prayers while standing in water.
Can I perform Chhath Puja in West Bengal?
The Calcutta High Court has said that only two people from a family can perform Chhath Puja rituals near water bodies. Additionally, the court has said that processions and playing of loud music would not be allowed.
The HC also said that those taking part in celebrations must travel in open vehicles.
Who all can offer Chhath puja at ghats in Bihar?
Although Chhath puja celebrations have not been banned in the state of Bihar, the state’s Home Department has advised devotees to perform rituals at home, instead of congregating around rivers.
However, this does not mean that devotees are banned from offering prayers near the ghats. Here’re a few guidelines that they have to follow:
- All devotees must wear masks and follow social distancing guidelines at ghats.
- Devotees above 60 years and children below 10 years are not allowed.
- Devotees have been advised to not take a dip in the water and barricades have been set-up for this purpose.
- Those suffering from fever and other symptoms will not be allowed near ghats.
- Food stalls will not be allowed and no prasad shall be distributed.
- Ghats and commonly touched surfaces will be sanitised before and after puja everyday.
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