Saturday, November 24, 2012

Panchuka Brata (The five days Celebration)


For all the five days the women after their purification bath in the early morning draw beautiful flower-designs around the 'Chaura' (a small temple like structure with a 'Tulsi' plant overhead) with colour powder. Fasting for the day is commonly observed. Most of the Shiva temples get crowded with devotees offering prayer to Lord Shiva who is said to have killed the demon 'Tripurasura' on this day. Group singing of 'kirtans' and loud beating of 'Mrudanga' and cymbals con
tinue for the whole day.

Boita Bandana
Another festival that takes place in the “Kartika Purnima” morning is significant to the ancient history of Odisha. This reminds the maritime glory of the State. In olden days the 'Sadhabas' (Sea Traders) used to sail off to distant Islands like Java, Sumatra, Borneo, Ceylon etc. for trade by huge boats (Boita). The women of the community were giving them a hearty see off by saying ‘Aa ka Ma Boi’ which symbolizes three Oriya months i.e. Aswina, Kartika and Margashira. The days are now gone, but the memory is still alive. Now, people float tiny boats made out of cork and coloured paper or bark of the banyan tree remembering the past glory. This is called "Boita Bandana". The “Kartik Brata” is concluded on “Kartik Purnima” day. It is commonly observed that devotees take holy bath in Puri Sea Beach and worship Lord Jagannath on this holy day. This festival is celebrated with lot of respect by each and every individual of Odisha.

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