India’s rich culture is illustrated by the many festivals we celebrate all year round. While we celebrate a plethora of festivals as one nation, every part of this country has a set of traditions that are unique and isolated to that region. Today we shine a spotlight on Odhisha to see seven of its most important festivals.
Here’s all about the 7 most important festivals celebrated in the state of Odissa:
A version of this festival is celebrated all over the nation under different names. The Odia calendar notes this day to be auspicious as it celebrates the start of a new year. The festival is also referred to as the Pana Sankranti festival, following a common tradition of placing a drink named pana over a tulsi plant to represent rainfall. The festival celebrates agricultural activities in Orissa. This festival usually falls sometime in the month of April.
The Rath Yatra is also commonly referred to as the Car festival. The idols of various gods are taken on a yatra or journey that spans several weeks. This journey is meant to represent a similar one taken by Krishna. The Jagannath temple in Ranchi district of Jharkhand also celebrates the Rath Yatra festival with equal pomp and grandeur, with devotees assembled in their finest silks and ornaments to celebrate this occasion. You can check out the gold rate in Jharkhand to know more.
Konark Temple is one of the most important religious and tourist destinations in Orissa. Needless to say, it attracts many visitors during the Magha Sapthmi festival, where devotees offer their prayers to the rising sun and the sea at the edge of Bay of Bengal.
One of India’s longest ranging festivals is the Chandan Yatra, a festival that originates in the state of Orissa. The festival runs over 42 days and gets its name from the tradition of worshipping idols with a paste made of Chandan and water. The idols are then taken from the Jagannath temple on a boat called the chapa.
Durga pooja is the grand celebration of the goddess Durga that falls during the Ashwin month of the Hindu calendar. This is one of the most important festivals celebrated in Orissa and runs for around 3 or 4 days. Devotees carry pandals with huge idols of mother Durga on the streets as they chant her praises.
Almost 22.5 percent of Orissa’s population is comprised of adivasis or tribals. Chhau festival is a celebration of Orissa’s rich tribal culture and history. People gather together and perform the dance form Mayurbhanj chhau, which is native to the state of Orissa, while covering their faces with colourful and vibrant masks and headpieces and donning elaborate costumes. These dances are also inspired by martial arts and classical elements. The people of Orissa celebrate this festival with grandeur and don their best outfits and jewellery to celebrate this occasion. You can factor in the gold rate today in Odisha while making such purchases.
The Raja Parbha festival celebrates the Earth Goddess Basu Mata and is dedicated to giving thanks for receiving the fruits of the earth. The festival also celebrates womanhood and halts all agricultural activities as it is believed to be the period where mother earth experiences her menstrual cycle. This is a festival that is celebrated over four days in the state of Orissa, and the devotees visit many Devi temples during this period.