Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], November 18 (ANI): Arrangements have been put in place for Chhath Puja celebrations on the banks of River Gomti in Lucknow.
"We are getting the ghats of the river cleaned for Chhath Puja and are making arrangements to ensure that the environment is not adversely affected by the rituals that will be carried out today," Archana Dwivedi, Lucknow Additional Municipal Commissioner told ANI.
This year, the four-day festival will be celebrated amid Covid-19 pandemic. For this, the Uttar Pradesh government has advised people to perform rituals at their homes or nearby, as much as possible.
The government has ordered that the arrangements be made by the local administration at traditional spots near rivers and ponds for the puja, and measures such as wearing masks and social distancing must be followed.
The Adityanath government has also ordered the local administration to ensure the availability of clean drinking water and ambulances in case of an emergency. Police personnel are deployed and CCTV cameras have also been installed for security.
Chhath Puja is one of the most popular festivals for the people of Bihar and parts of Uttar Pradesh or Purvanchal. Devotees gather and take a holy dip in rivers, ponds and other water bodies during the four-day festivities.
The previous few years witnessed huge crowds, but this year, due to the pandemic, people of different communities have decided that they would not celebrate with usual fanfare.
"We generally see a huge crowd but this year, keeping in mind the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, people of many communities have said that they will not be celebrating it as usual. Very few pandals will be set up, that too at a distance from each other," Dwivedi added.
This year, the main celebration will take place on the third day, November 20, where devotees will offer 'argha' to the Sun God at sunset and offer prasad.
On the fourth and last day, devotees pray before sunrise and conclude their fast by eating special prasad and delicacies made for the festival. (ANI)