The Bihar and Jharkhand Sabha of Australia and New Zealand hosted that region’s biggest festival Chhath Puja and Diwali at Kelston Community Centre in West Auckland.
Chhath is a significant festival for the Bihari and Jharkhand community and is celebrated with immense devotion in those states in India, and its diaspora across the globe.
The rituals of the festival are meticulously observed by the devotees, especially women who fast for days leading to the Chhath, pray for the well-being of their family and abstain from drinking water and stand in water for an extended period of time while praying to the rising and setting sun.
Although the Bihar and Jharkhand community in New Zealand is a small and growing one, the community organisation has held a small private event every year, inviting the community members to observe the festival.
This year, one of the members of Bihar Samaj hosted the Puja at their residence which happens over four days between Thursday, October 31 to Sunday, November 4, and invited participants from the community to perform the rituals along with others and observe the festivity like one big family.
“Our community members Rupesh and Shubhu ji hosted the Chhath Puja at their residence for four days inviting fellow members as guests and participate in the rituals,” President of Bihar Samaj, New Zealand wing Nisheeth Prakash said.
Chhath Puja begins with Nahay Khay followed by Karna Puja, Sandhya Arag, and Usha Arag. The puja rituals culminated at an official celebratory function at Kelston on Sunday, November 3, where the organisation arranged an entertainment function and food for the guests.
This event was attended by Hon Consul of India in Auckland Bhav Dhillon who lauded the efforts of the small community in bringing the show together.
The organisers hosted a number of dance and solo song performances and a fashion show involving small children with their parents at the show.
The show ended with a celebratory dinner arranged for the guests and attendees at the event.