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This Wikipedia page mentions that Draupadi and Kunti performed the Chhath Puja. However, the same page also mentions it to be a folk festival, which is celebrated on the Shukla Shashti of Kartika Masa (i.e. 6 days after Diwali). I want to know if there are any mentions of this festival in Mahabharata and our Puranas or if is it just a folk festival.

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  • I know it is performed in Bihar. Wondering whether it is a festival of the Saura sect of Hindus. Nov 17, 2023 at 9:56
  • The origin is puranic (carried from memory), not sure if any mahapuranas or any minor puranas do cover it.
    – user29449
    Nov 17, 2023 at 13:09

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14th century Maithilī paṇḍita Rudradhara mentions the Vivasvat-ṣaṣṭhī vrata (popularly known as Chat-Pūjā) in his Smṛti compendium called Varṣakṛtya.

He states that in this vrata, the votary is to observe restraint on Kārtika śuklā pañcamī, observe fast on the next day accompanied by offering arghya to Sūrya during sunset in the banks of a waterbody after worshipping Him with fruits, flowers, scents, lamps, incense & foodstuff accompanied by music & dance, keep awake that night through music & dance, then on the next day, again offer arghya to Sūrya during sunrise & observe His special worship & fast thoughtout the day, & finally terminate the fast on Kārtika śuklā aṣṭamī accompanied by feeding of brāhmaṇas & hearing of the vratakathā.

Chat-Pūjā is also mentioned as Pratihāra ṣaṣṭhī by 15th century Maithilī paṇḍita Vidyāpati in his Smṛti compendium (also named) Varṣakṛtya. However, it wasn't possible to procure a copy of it.

The vrata-katha mentioned by Rudradhara (purportedly from the Skandapurāṇa) is extremely simple at the best. A person is born wretched & afflicted with leprosy, so he approaches a brāhmaṇa for remedy. The brāhmaṇa advises performance of Vivasvat-ṣaṣṭhī vrata, the person observes it & gets rid of his leprosy & misfortune. Another poor brāhmaṇa hears about this vrata & becomes rich after observing it. And thus the vrata gets popular among the masses.

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