Fairs & Festivals in Odisha – With numerous religions, ancient temples, local shrines, tribes and an array of sacred places, Odisha (Orissa) observes uncountable number of festivals and fairs round the year. Major Odisha(Orissa) Festivals of Odisha is Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra and Durga Pooja.Three different religions flourished on the holy land of Odisha (Orissa) thus making it mandatory to celebrate various religious Odisha festivals with great fanfare. Odisha Cultural & Religious Festivals are very famous in india.
Rath Yatra Also known as Car Festival, this spectacular Chariot Festival is celebrated in the month of Asadha, on the second day of the lunar fortnight that falls during June-July. Popularly known as Rath Yatra, this festival is celebrated in the honor of Lord Jagannath who is believed to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
Ratha-Yatra is an annual Hindu festival which originated in Puri in Odisha. The festival is celebrated all over Odisha on the 2nd day of dark fortnight the lunar month of Ashadha (Asadha Sukla Dutiya) usually in June/July. The festival involves transporting of the idols of the deities Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra on giant chariot from the Puri temple to the Gundicha temple. The chariots are pulled by devotees with ropes. After nine days, the idols are returned.
Durga Puja occurs in the month of (October/September). It is a 10-day-long festival. During the period, goddess Durga is worshipped in Shakti peethas or temporary shrines called pandals. Navratri refers to the first nine days of the festival. The nine forms of Durga, Navadurga, are worshipped during these nine days. Navratri begins on the Prathama (first bright day) Paksha (lunar fortnight) of the Ashvin month. It also marks the end of the rainy season according to the traditional calendar. The asura, Mahishasura, was killed by Durga on the tenth day according to Hindu mythology. The final five days are considered especially important
Kumar Purnima occurs on the first full moon day of Ashvin month. It is primarily celebrated by unmarried girls who pray for a handsome husband. According to the belief, the handsome god Kartikeya also known as Kumar was born on this day. Girls also play traditional games like puchi on this day.
Deepabali is celebrated on Kartik Amavasya. It marks the days on which Rama returned to Ayodhya, after completing his 14 years exile, with Sita, Laxman and Hanuman Earthen lamps (deepa) and fire crackers are lit on the occasion. A rangoli is drawn in front of households, usually depicting a seven-chambered sailboat.
The families around Puri region remember their forefathers by burning jute stalks and call upon them for blessing with the Badabadua verse
Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated as the birthday of the god Ganesha, usually in August. It is primarily observed by educational institutes and students. The god is offered prasad like modak and laddu in pandals. Students may also offer writing utensils and notebooks, which are used by them after the festival. During the festival, student do not undertake any study related activity. After Ganesh Visarjan, study activities are resumed.
Lord Ganesha is worshipped with all sixteen rituals along with chanting of Puranik Mantras during Ganesha Chaturthi Puja which is also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi Puja. Worshipping Gods and Goddesses with all 16 rituals is known as Shodashopachara Puja
Holi is a spring festival, also known as the festival of colours or the festival of love. It is an ancient Hindu religious festival which has become popular with non-Hindus in many parts of South Asia, as well as people of other communities outside Asia.
Raja Parba is a three-day festival celebrated in the coastal districts in Ashadha month starting with the first day of the month. It usually falls mid-June. This is festival dedicated to Basu-mata, the Earth goddess. During this period, on agricultural activities occur to allow the goddess to rest. The first day is called pahila raja, the second day is proper raja and third day is called basi raja. Girls play on various types of swings. People exchange pithas among relatives and friends. Raja is also called Mithuna Sankranti. In places it is celebrated for four days and is known as Basumata Puja.
Nuakhai is particularly celebrated in the Sambalpuri cultural region. It is celebrated to welcome the new paddy harvest. It falls on the day after Ganesh Chaturthi. In various regions, priests calculate the tithi and offer the new grains to the local goddesses at an precise auspicious moment. People on this occasional greet each other with the words “Nuakhai Juhar”. At evening, folk dance and song events may be organized which are called “Nuakhai Bhetghat”.
Sitalsasthi is celebrated to observe the marriage of god Shiva and Parvati. One of the devotees acts as the parent of Shiva and another devotee acts as the parent of Parvati. The devotee acting as the father of the god travels to the goddess’s house with a bundle of sal tree leaves to make a proposal. After the marriage is fixed, deities of the locality and general public are invited to the ceremony. The general public also financially contributes to the ceremony. Sitalasasthi is also celebrated in many parts of South odisha mainly in Ganjam district and Brahmapur. The marriage ceremony is undertaken on the sixth day of Jyeshtha month. Various artists including eunuchs perform street performances during the festival.
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