Pokhara—Chhath Festival has been marked giving Argha to setting sun in Nepal today. Basically people from Tarai region of Nepal celebrate this festival but the tradition has expanded to other part of Nepal too in recent years.
Devotees fast all the day today and go to the banks of rivers, pools and streams to offer Argha and sacred foods to setting sun. The festival traditionally concludes following the offering of Argha to rising sun tomorrow. The festival is all about the sun. Devotees have come across 36 hours long fast after having the sacred foods like rice pudding, bread and other foods without salt.
President Bidhha Devi Bhandari also offered Argha to setting sun her wife Usha reaching Rani Pokhara in Kathmandu today. According to Wikipedia, Chhath is an ancient Hindu Vedic festival historically native to the Madhesh province and Mithila region of Nepal andBihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh states of India.
Accoridng to RSS, the Chhath is observed for four days, from Kartik Shukala Chaturthi to Kartik Shukla Saptami as per the lunar calendar. It usually falls between October and November in the Gregorian calendar. The Sun considered as the god of energy and of the life-force, is worshiped during the Chhath festival to promote well-being, prosperity and progress.
The ritual of Chhath Parba includes taking holy bath, fasting, standing and worshiping the sun for a long time and offering Prasad and Argha to the ‘Rising and setting Sun”. Chhath is a festival of bathing and worshipping that follows a period of abstinence and segregation of the worshiper from the main household for four days. During this period, the worshiper observes purity, and sleeps on the floor on a single blanket.
This is the only holy festival which has no involvement of any pandit (priest).The devotees offer their prayers to the setting sun, and then the rising sun in celebrating its glory as the cycle of birth starts with death. It is seen as the most glorious form of Sun worship.