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Chhath @ Chowpatty

The world's most environment-friendly festival Chhath, an ancient Hindu festival, native to the Indian subcontinent, specifically Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Nepal was celebrated by the devout with fervour across Mumbai - home for diaspora and migrants from the zones.

Chhathi Maiya, the sixth form of Devi Prakriti and Lord Surya's sister, is worshipped in this festival celebrated six days after Deepavali, on the sixth day of the lunar month of Kartika in the Hindu calendar Vikram Samvat.

Rituals observed over four days include holy bathing, fasting and abstaining from drinking water (vrata), standing in water, and offering prasad (prayer offerings) and arghya to the rising and setting sun.

The Draft documents the journey of the Chhath bhakts celebrating the festival at Mumbai's Girgaum Chowpatty and Juhu Beach. Here go vignettes:

A devotee carries puja items during Chhath Puja (Photo: The Draft)

Members of the Mallah family put puja items in order before the sunset (Photo: The Draft)

A woman making a leaf arrangement for the puja (Photo: The Draft)

Jaiswal family, originally from Bihar, arrives for Chhath Puja (Photo: The Draft)

The young partake in the rituals with equal enthusiasm (Photo: The Draft)

Sunita Saini sets up the puja items at Girgaum Chowpatty (Photo: The Draft)

A toddler leans against her mother even as her mother lights the diya (Photo: The Draft)

Sah family arrives with their dog 'Leo' for Chhath Puja (Photo: The Draft)

Women wait for the setting sun to perform the rituals (Photo: The Draft)

Women dressed in traditional attire flocked to Juhu and Girgaum Chowpatty (Photo: The Draft)

The elderly oversee the young setting up the sugarcane for Chhath Puja (Photo: The Draft)

Boys preparing a sand mound to arrange puja items as per the rituals (Photo: The Draft)

A woman puts sindoor on another during the puja (Photo: The Draft)

Orange sindoor on women's foreheads is a common sight during Chhath Puja (Photo: The Draft)

Sangeeta Singh and Laxmi Devi (right) carrying fruits and flowers as puja offerings (Photo: The Draft)

The Nishad family from Santacruz comes to Girgaum Chowpatty for Chhath Puja (Photo: The Draft)

Tardeo-based Kanojiya family await sunset to perform the Chhath rituals (Photo: The Draft)

Suraj Kumar (in yellow) photographs members of his family after the puja (Photo: The Draft)

Women colour their feet with 'alta' for Chhath Puja (Photo: The Draft)

Fruits and vegetables are offered during Chhath Puja (Photo: The Draft)

Fragrance from incense sticks fill the air during Chhath Puja at Juhu Chowpatty (Photo: The Draft) 

A woman lights a diya before the puja at Juhu Chowpatty (Photo: The Draft)

Devouts gather at Gigraum Chowpatty for the final prayers at sunrise (Photo: The Draft)

Women pray and make offerings to the sun (Photo: The Draft)

Two women perform the final rituals during Chhath Puja (Photo: The Draft)

Sunny Prajapati with wife Vimla and children at Girgaum Chowpatty (Photo: The Draft)

A family from Worli Naka at Girgaum Chowpatty (Photo: The Draft)

Deepak Patil and Pravin Shinde (right) of D B Marg Police Station man the crowd (Photo: The Draft)

Stacks of sugarcane could be see at Girgaum Chowpatty during the puja (Photo: The Draft)

People gathered in large numbers to celebrate Chhath Puja this year (Photo: The Draft)

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