Durga Puja is a popular festival in Odisha, is celebrated to worship the Goddess of Power and War, the Goddess Durga and to celebrate women's power. The festival takes place in the month of Aswin or Kartik i.e. September or October every year according to the English calendar. During this Hindu festival, devotees totally immerse themselves in Durga puja festivity for ten days. Among all cities, Cuttack celebrates the Durga Puja in a major way.
Kalinga Mahotsav is the festival of Martial Dance is celebrated to mark the major victory of peace over war when Kalinga(part of Odisha) once witnessed a battle during the reign of Ashoka. The festival is a tribute to the martyrs of the Maurya Dynasty which is celebrated by various Martial Art Acts through dance and music. Kalinga Mahotsav is one of the most famous festivals of Odisha. It holds great religious significance for people. The aim of this festival is to encourage people to follow the path of peace and calm, rather than fighting amongst themselves.
This festival takes place in the month of Vaisakha and continues for 42 days. But, generally speaking, and for the pilgrims and visitors, it is a Festival of 21 days only. The first period is known as Bahar Chandan or outer Chandan. During this period, the representative images of Rama, Krishna, Madanmohan, Laxmi and Biswadhatri at taken in a procession to Narendra tank. Also images of Siva from 5 Shiva Temples known as Pancha Pandavas accompany them in a Procession in the Narendra tank, the images play in well-decorated boats and are worshiped. The second period of 21 days known as Bhitar Chandana is celebrated inside the Temple.
Konark Dance Festival is a five-day celebration starting from 1st December till 5th December. During these five days, renowned dancers from all over the country come to showcase their talent at the Konark Natya Mandap. The main aim of organizing this dance festival is to introduce the world with traditional Indian dance forms and its diverse culture.
Rajarani Music Festival is celebrated from 18th January to 20th January every year, the festival is just a way to cherish the art form which has been the soul of the eastern state. Music enthusiasts and artists from across the globe come to Odisha to relish the heartwarming beats of the Odissi Music, and that's the reason why it is one of the top festivals of Odisha. Using the backdrop of Rajarani Temple which finds its place in the Temple city of India Bhubaneswar, the festival is just way for devotees to come here on a spiritual vacation, seek blessings and also rejuvenate in the classical form of music.
The Mukteshwar Dance Festival concentrates exclusively on Odissi dance. It features solo, duet and group Odissi performances by young and senior artists. Reputed troupes from Odisha and elsewhere in India perform at the festival. It takes place in the courtyard of one of Bhubaneswar's most prominent and well preserved temple complexes that's more than 1,100 years old. The Mukteshwar temple is one of the smallest and most compact temples in Bhubaneshwar.
Celebrated in the month of November, Puri beach festival organized at the shore of Puri graces and occupies the heart of travelers for five long days. The festival gives you a chance to explore the nuances of the inhabitants of Puri, Odisha, who display a radical attitude towards changing environs and are yet deeply religious and conservative at heart. With a backdrop of temples, of which the Lord Jagannath Temple dominates the skyline, the Puri Beach is a showcase for Odisha's and India's reservoir of talent. From cultural events, classical and folk dance performances, sand sculptures, handicrafts and food festivals to rock concerts, DJs, beach parties and fashion shows; Puri Beach Festival has all the ingredients to establish it as an international festival.
International Sand Art Festival is a popular festival related to Sand Art and Tourism organized by Odisha Tourism from 1st December to 5th December at Konark, Odisha, India. Many sand artists from India and from other countries are participating in this competition.
As this is an international level event so thousands of people from all over the world are coming to see this festival, but most of the population belongs to Odisha and India. For the peoples those love sand art they visit this International Sand Art Festival every year and enjoy here by seeing the making process of sand art.
Ekamra Utsav is celebrated every year in Bhubaneswar, dedicating to Lord Shiva, it is a full ten-days event. This festival in Odisha is celebrated at Janata Maidan of Bhubaneswar city in the first week of November every year. Ekamra Utsav is an event focusing on multiple disciplines thus aiming to boost Odisha's rich textile industry and cultural heritage in the most colorful way.
Shree Kshetra Utsav is organized every year to showcase the city's Art, Craft, Culture, Cuisine and to highlight the History, rich Tradition and Cultural Heritage of the holy city to pilgrims and tourists.
Maa Budhi Thakurani Temple is located near the Big Bazar of Berhampur, Ganjam, Odisha.
The presiding deity of the temple is mainly worshiped by a weaver community-Dera. Apart from the religious significance, the temple is very much famous for hosting one of the biggest festivals of southern Odisha - Thakurani Yatra. This month-long celebration is observed every two years in the Hindu month of Chaitra(April-May). As per the historians, the celebration of this beautiful starts from the day of Mahashivaratri.
Ratha Yatra is a major Hindu festival associated with Lord Jagannath held at Puri in India during the months of June or July.
The Puri Rath Yatra is world-famous and attracts not only from India but also from the different parts of the world. Rath Yatra, in other words, the Chariot Festival is the only day when devotees who are not allowed into the temple can get a chance to see the deities. This festival is a symbol of equality and integration.
The 3 deities, Lord Jagannath, his elder brother Lord Balabhadra and their sister Subhadra are worshiped within the temple, on this festival they are taken to the streets of Puri so that everyone can have the fortune to see them. The 3 deities make an annual journey to their aunt's Temple(Gundicha Temple), 2 km away from Lord Jagannath temple.
The Chhau Festival is a significant festival for the people of Odisha, which continues for three successive days. The Festival is observed by the Bhuiyans Tribe in numerous areas of Odisha, particularly in Koraput, where the celebration is praised with the most extreme intensity. The celebration is basically appended to Mayurbhanj Chhau, a noteworthy move type of Odisha. It includes artists wearing covers called Chhau which originate from the word Chhaya, signifies shadow. Thus the dance form suggests playing with the shadow. Performers wear vibrant costumes and play mythical characters or historical characters. Chhau is a vivacious type of martial dance & dramatization prevalent in the Chotanagpur level range of Eastern India.
The 10-day festival that marks the beginning of the festive season in Odisha celebrates the birth of Lord Ganesha, the younger son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Ganesh Puja was celebrated with religious fervor across Odisha. This festival is celebrated with religious fervor across the state. Mostly all educational institutions were decked up for the celebration.
Nuakhai, as the name, suggests that Nua means New and Khai means Food. So, the festival of Nuakhai is a festival to celebrate newly harvested food by the farmers. One day after the celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi it is celebrated especially in the Western part of Odisha with much pomp and jubilation. People staying in distant lands come back to their native places, wear new clothes and offer prayers before God and eat delicious foods prepared from the newly harvested crops.
Chatar Jatra is a traditional festival celebrated by the people of Kalahandi District, Odisha. The festival is being celebrated during the Mahastami of Durga puja festival; the ritual practice of Khonds Nabakalevar is also performed during the festival. To please Maa Manikeswari, a tribal dance is performed, which is known as Ghumura dance. Ghumura is a traditional dance and a heritage of Kalahandi district, it is a dance performed with a traditional instrument Ghumura Veer Badya.
The Hindu festival of Sital Sasthi celebrates the marriage of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. The festival is celebrated on the sixth day of the bright fortnight in the Hindu month of Jyestha which corresponds to the months of May-June in the Gregorian calendar. The festival is celebrated especially in the Sambalpur district of Odisha. The three-day celebration is called the Sital Sasthi Yatra, wherein a family is chosen to play the role of Goddess Parvati's family to propose marriage to Lord Shiva. Since Shiva is known as Swayam Bhu, no one plays the role of his family. The festival is attended by a large number of Hijras and Eunuchs, as Shiva is also referred to as Ardhanarishwara.
Rakhi Purnima is one of the special occasions in India which celebrates the eternal relation between a brother and sister. The festival is celebrated on the full-moon day of the month of Sravana which falls in the month of August. On this auspicious day, the sister ties a Rakhi on the hand of the brother as a mark of love and honor. Rakhi threads are better known as Dori. The festival is marked by the tying of a Rakhi or Holy Thread by the sister on the wrist of her brother. The brother in return offers a gift to his sister and promise to look after her.
Raksha Bandhan is one of the important festivals which capture the true spirit of the relationship between a brother and sister. Raksha means to Protect and Bandhan stands for Bond.
This day is also celebrated as Gamha Purnima, the birthday of Lord Baladeva, the elder brother of Lord Sri Krishna. In Odisha especially in Paralakhemundi and other parts, the birthday of Lord Baladeva is celebrated through a popular game known as Gamha-Diyan(The Gamha Jump).
Makar Mela or Makar Sankranti is yet another important festival of Odisha. During the festival, the people of Odisha offer prayers and food to the Sun God and seek blessings for a healthy and prosperous life. The festival holds traditional cultural significance for the people of the state.
Firstly this festival is very near to the traditional new year of Odisha and secondly, it holds astronomical importance for those who believe that life is affected by the movement of celestial bodies. Since the celebrations take place in every district of Odisha but few places have a view of relish forever.
Worshiping of Shakti or Shiva has grown out of the mass religious culture of the people under the spell of Tantrism in the remote past. One such festival is Hingula Yatra or Patua Yatra. There is a popular belief among the local people that on this day of Visuba Sankranti Goddess Hingula appears and propitiation to Her removes all evil forces. She is worshiped in the village street on Her imaginary stride to the village. Offering to Her includes spat new cloth, Pana(sweet-water), butter lamp and green mangoes.
In the Hindu month of Kartik(October - November), the city of Cuttack in Odisha celebrates a renowned festival known as Bali Jatra. The name Bali Jatra means ‘A Voyage to Bali’. This popular festival of Odisha marks its beginning from the day of the full moon and continues for the next seven days at Gadagadia Ghat of the River Mahanadi where they worship the Lord Kartikeswar - the presiding deity of this festival. Moreover, through this festival, the locals also commemorate that day when sailors of Odisha first crusade to distant lands of Java, Bali, Borneo, Sri Lanka and Sumatra. To pay their homage, regional people make the artificial boat(made up of paper, barks of the banana tree and cork) and float it in the water. Besides, the festival also observes the tradition of lighting lamps in the boat which is called Boita Bandana. This boasts an amazing landscape of countless boats lit with lamps.
Asokastami is a festival dedicated to Lord Lingaraj. On this auspicious day Sri Chandrasekhara, the representative deity of Lord Lingaraj is taken out on a car. This chariot is then taken to the temple of Rameswara and the event is witnessed by thousands of devotees from all corners of the country.
Chaitra Parva is a famous festival, which is also named as Mayurbhanj Chhau. It is observed for three days prior to “Maha Visubha Sanktranti” in the month of April every year.
The origin of Chaitra Parva goes back to hoary past. In its early years, it was conceived to be a religious festival but with the pace of time, it has been converted into an art festival with some religious fervor. It is observed for days together continuously with Saivite Ceremonies and rituals during the daytime, whereas Chhau Dance is performed in the night.
Dhanu Yatra in the Bargarch district of western Odisha is considered as the biggest open-air theatre in Asia. Held either in the month of December or January, the festival is organized to celebrate the Independence and victory of the good over the evil. With the central theme of the festival based on the Krishna Leela and Mathura Vijay, the enactment begins with the wedding of King Kansa's sister Devaki with Basudev followed by his accession to the throne, dethroning his father Ugrasen and concludes with Kansa Badha at the hands of nephew Lord Krishna. It is a visual delight as the entire episode of Mathura Vijay and Krishna Leela is depicted frame by frame.
Kali Puja and Diwali were celebrated with gaiety and fervor in West Bengal and Odisha, with colorful lights and decorated pandals creating a festive spirit across the state. Diwali is the festival of lights celebrated every year to highlight the victory over evil in the form of victory of Lord Ram over Ravana and kali puja is the worship of Goddess kali to protect humanity from the hands of evils.
People from all strata of life joined the festivities in colorful clothes and exchanged greetings and sweets as both the festivals were being celebrated together, making the entire occasion a gala event.
Fireworks lit up the sky as the evening wore on while streets are adorned with colorful lights and houses are decked up with Diyas(earthen lamps).
Holi is often regarded as the festival of colors predominantly played in Northern & Western India. The festival is also known as Dola Yatra or Dola Jatra falls on the full-moon day in the month of Phalguna. On this day Odia calendar becomes ready and it is worshiped on Dolabedi in front of Dolagovinda.
Dola Purnima is a Hindu festival of paramount importance and the deities inside the sanctum sanctorum of Jagannath temple are decked up in gold jewelry embellished with diamond and gems. This ritual is popularly known as Raja Dhiraj Besa or Suna Besa.
Janmashtami is also celebrated as Gokulashtami in Odisha. On this auspicious day, Lord Krishna took birth. This day holds great significance among Hindus and followers of Lord Krishna. People sing bhajans, give performances and observe fasting on this day to celebrate Lord Krishna's birthday.
Manabasa Gurubar Lakshmi Vrata is observed during Gurubar or Thursdays in the month of Margasira. Goddess Lakshmi is worshiped on Thursdays during Margashir Month(November - December) in Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra. This puja is performed to get Sukh, Shanti and Aishwarya - comfort, peace and prosperity.
The history of Laxmi Puja at Dhenkanal is more than 50 years old. It is called as Gajalaxmi Puja. It is celebrated for 11 days starting from Kumara Purnima. Thousands of people not only from the Dhenkanal District but from the whole State come to Dhenkanal to enjoy the Laxmi Puja during this festive time.
It is a popular festival celebrated in Konark. On the 6th-7th day of the bright half of the month of Magha(January-February). The pilgrims assemble on the night of 6th day at Chandrabhaga beach, worship the local deities and take holy dips in the beach before the sunrise. The holy dip here and paying homage to the sun God on this day is considered sacred.
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, Mahashiv Ratri is one of the most important festivals of Hindus and celebrated with great enthusiasm in Odisha. Falling on the 14th day of Phalgun, Maha Shivratri is an important festival of Odisha.
On the eve of Maha Shivratri, the devotees observe fast and perform puja throughout the night.
Maha Shivratri is celebrated in all parts of Odisha. Mahendragiri, Gupteshwar, Kapilas, Puri, Bhubaneshwar and Khiching etc. are some of the places in Odisha where the festival of Maha Shivaratri can be best enjoyed.
Lingaraj temple and Hakateshwar temple are the two major centers of the Shivratri celebration in Odisha. Besides, the Shivratri celebration at Loknath temple in Puri is also very popular in Odisha and is visited by a large number of devotees on this holy occasion.
Prathamastami falls on the Ashtami Tithi(8th day) of Krushna Paksha in Odia month of Margashira(November-December). Folklore has it that on this day Krishna and Balaram visited maternal aunt Raja Kansa wearing new clothes and were honored in a similar manner. Interestingly, it is a festival that is all for the firstborns. Prathamastami is a rite held in Odisha for the life and prosperity of the eldest child who is offered a lighted lamp ovation by the senior female relatives followed by elaborate rituals.
Saraswati Puja is celebrated every year on the fifth day of the Indian month Magh, the first day of spring.
Saraswati puja is celebrated throughout the Odisha and India. The Goddess of knowledge is revered among the students and learned who strictly follow all the rituals to worship her. The festivities that accompany Saraswati puja is a part of the social celebrations.
Pushpanjali(offering of flowers along with mantras) are offered. Bright Palash flowers are offered that are a part of the worship. Young people enjoy the day with each other. Cultural programs are staged at night. The Goddess who is the patron of music, culture and learning is revered by singers and musicians with great devotion.
Taratarini Temple in Ganjam district, observes a beautiful fair called Taratarini Mela. Renowned as the biggest carnival of Odisha, Taratarini Mela is celebrated in the Hindu month of Chaitra(March - April). The festival is observed on each Tuesdays of the Chaitra month. However, the third Tuesday witnesses the grand celebration. Throughout this time, devotees offer their prayers and offerings to the deities of Chalanti Pratima. Along with that, darshan of the deities in Garbha Griha is also allowed.
Khudurukuni Osha is also known as Bhalukuni Osha. It is mainly observed in the coastal districts of Odisha during the month of Bhadraba(Aug-Sept) on Sundays after the Gamha Purnima(Full moon day of Shravana).
During this festival, Goddess Mangala is worshiped by young girls primarily who seek the safety, prosperity and good health of their brothers. This portrays the sanctity and beauty of the relationship between Brother and Sister.
Savitri Amavasya or Savitri Brata is an important vow that married women in Odisha practice by observing fast for their husband and wishing for their long life. Observed on the Amavasya(last day of the dark fortnight) in the month of Jyestha, the day is considered very auspicious and the fast is observed by every married woman in Odisha.
Married women in Odisha fast during the day and listen to the story of Savitri and Satyabana. The fasting is dedicated to Savitri and Satyabana her husband who was destined to die within one year but was brought back to life by her severe penance.
Lord Kumar Kartikeya, the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, was born on this pious day, hence the name Kumara Purnima. Apparently, he was very good looking and the most eligible bachelor in the kingdom of gods. Therefore, maidens celebrate this festival and perform rituals, aspiring for a husband, as handsome as him.
Maidens wake up much before sunrise, bath and get dressed to perform the Janhi Osa where they offer to the sun god, a palmful of Khae with Janhi(striped gourd), Cucumber, Banana, Coconut, Gua(betel nut) etc. known as Anjuli. They also lighten a Diya and perform a puja to pay reverence to the Almighty for a suitable bridegroom. The same ritual is performed in the evening, but with Chanda chakata.
© 2020 orissatourism.org | All Rights Reserved