Durga Puja Odisha ( Dussehra ) - Worship to the Gddess of Power is celebrated by the entire Hindu fraternity in general and Bengalis in particular in the form of Durga Puja. The festival takes place in the month of Aswin or Kartik in Odia calendar i.e. September and October according to the English calendar. It is a ten-day long festival including Navaratris, of which the last 4 days from Saptami to Dussehra day are of significance. On Dussehra day is being celebrated the victory of Rama against Ravana, and effigies of Ravana are burnt. Durga puja is an important festival in the Shaktism tradition of Hinduism.
Raja Parba is a three-day long festival which is eagerly celebrated all over the state of Odisha specially in the coastal districts of Odisha. This festival is celebrated to bring prosperity in agriculture fields and also to celebrate womanhood. The festival is dedicated to Basu-Mata , the Earth Goddess and during this festival, all the agriculture activities are stopped to allow the Goddess to rest. It is believed that during this period the Goddess undergoes her menstrual cycle, and to respect the womanhood of the Mother Earth, all the activities such as ploughing, plucking, cutting trees, that can hurt nature are prevented.
Deepabali (ଦୀପାବଳି) is celebrated on Kartik Amavasya. The Festival of Lights is celebrated as the mark of the triumph of good over evil, purity over impurity, light over darkness. It is one of the most important Hindu festivals. In many parts of India, Diwali is celebrated for long five days with each day having a name as Dhanteras, Naraka Chaturdashi, Diwali, Balipadyami, Bhai Bij etc. In some parts of the state, Kali Puja is also celebrated on the same day.
Kali Puja occurs in the month of Ashvin(October). It is celebrated after Durga Puja ends. It is to commemorate the legendary tale of Goddess Kali dancing in anger and stepping over Lord Shiva & to celebrate the triumph of good over evil. It is considered a big festival in the northern districts of Odisha. In Kendujhar district a week long Mela goes on during Kali puja. After the week is over the idol of Goddess Kali is taken on a grand procession and then submerged in a holy river.
It also known as Dola Yatra (ଦୋଳ ଯାତ୍ରା, a five day long Dola Purnima festival celebrated with much enthusiasm and reverberate across the state. Followed by Dola Purnima comes Holi. On this day, the Oriya calendar becomes ready and is offered to the deity Jagannath, who is also known as Dolagovinda. The celebration is mostly celebrated in Villages where Idols of Krishna and Radha come to a common place.
This festival of colors is celebrated on Odia calendar Phalgun Purnima which lies on the month of March. The colorful festival bridges the social gap and renew sweet relationships where people hug and wish each other Happy Holi. In some parts, Holi celebration begins with lighting up of bonfire on the Holi eve. Numerous legends & stories associated with Holi celebration makes the festival more exuberant and vivid. People apply gulal and abeer on each other’s faces and cheer up saying, bura na maano Holi hai. On this day, people gift each other with precious things along with sweets etc.
Kumar Purnima (କୁମାର ପୂର୍ଣିମା) observed on the full moon day of Ashvin month as per Odia calandar. It is mainly celebrated by the unmarried girls who pray for a handsome husband. According to the belief, the handsome God Kartikeya (known as Kumar) was born on this day. Girls wears new dresses and play many merry making games like puchi, ludo etc. throughout this day to celebrate this festival with much hype and joy.
Konark Dance Festival – an event festival celebrated every year from 1st to 5th December at Natya Mandap of Konark Temple. It is an ideal choice for not just the monuments, beaches and scenic beauties, but Konark is also well known for this colourful festival. Eminent classical dancers from all over the country get together on the event festival to pay tribute to a masterpiece in stone- Sun temple at Konark. This classical extravaganza is a pure ecstasy to witness for the artists and general audience present at Konark during this festival. The International Sand Art Festival is a remarkable cultural event held by the Orissa Tourism Department held at the Chandrabhaga Beach, 3 km from the Konark Festival venue, concurrently.
Puri Beach Festival - As its very name suggests, the Puri Beach Festival is held on a beautiful beach namely Sea Beach, Swargadwara at Puri and comes as a celebration of the beauteous and splendid Odia arts, crafts, culture and devine spirit. This feast for the fun lovers at the city is conducted by the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Odisha (Orissa) (HRAO), co-sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, the Department of Tourism, Odisha Govt. which attracts many international and domestic visitors to Puri every year.
Rath Yatra -also known as Car Festival is celebrated in the month of Asadha, on the second day of the lunar fortnight that falls during June-July. This annual Chariot pulling festival of Lord Jugannath is celebrate every year and is a 10-days-long celebration from Shri Gundicha to Bahuda Yatra. Tens of Thousands of devotees from across the world rush to Puri to participate in the chariot pulling.
Odisha Tribal Festivals -The festivals of the tribals constitute an integral part of their social life and relate to their strong beliefs in the power of supernatural elements and community togetherness. Their traditions can best be captured at these fairs and festivals.
Kalinga Mahotsava schedules to be held in February month every year is an effort of the Government of Odisha to give a boost to Culture tourism. Every year during this festival the city shines with beautiful lights and stars descend on the Buddhist Peace Pagoda Dhauli . An array of dazzling performances leave the audience spellbound with their sheer brilliance. The message of peace is reinforced through various performing arts of the classical genre enacted by renowned proponents.
Mahabisuva Sankranti also known as Pana Sankranti is celebrated to mark the Odia New Year in the month of April. Pana- a drink made from Misri and water is hung over the Tulsi plant to represent the rain. This festival marks the beginning for farming and agricultural activities in the state. Devotees visit to the nearest Devi temples and pray for a great year ahead.
This is one of the most famous festivals near Konark temple where thousands of people gather on the shore of Bay of Bengal to offer their prayers to the sea. Devotees take a holy dip in the sea at Chandrabhaga beach and pray the Rising Sun.
Makar Sankranti or Makar Mela is one of the major festivals in Odisha. The festival is celebrated when the Sun enters the orbit of Capricorn and by this time harvest of new paddy, sugarcane crops are over. On this auspicious day, people of Odisha offer prayers and food to the Sun God to have a healthy and prosperous life.
This festival represents the tribal life and traditional dances and celebrated with great enthusiasm. This festival is primarily attached to the Odissi dance form- Mayurbhanj Chhau. During this festival, people of Orissa worship Lord Shiva. The trained classical dancers perform the act of Chhau with masks covering their faces. The dance form has various classical and martial arts elements in it. Chhau festival offers a complete treat of dance performances, great food and vibrant tribal life of Odisha.
Ganesh Chaturthi (ଗଣେଶ ଚତୁର୍ଥୀ) is celebrated as the birthday of the god Ganesha mainly by students in schools and educational institutes. The god is offered prasad like laddu in some pandals. Students may also offer pencils, pens and notebooks which are used by them after the festival. During the festival, students do not undertake any study related activity. After Ganesh Visarjan, study activities are resumed.
Nuakhai is the agricultural festival observed by people of Western Odisha & in some Chhattisgarh region in India. Nuakhai is observed to welcome the new rice of the season. It is the most important social festival of Western Odisha. The word ‘nua’ means new and ‘khai’ means food, so the name means the new crop that the farmers harvest marking the start of the harvesting season.
On Prathamastami (ପ୍ରଥମାଷ୍ଟମୀ), households pray for the long life of the eldest child. Enduri Pitha is a special mention which is prepared for this occasion. It has the cultural significance that eldest child is usually expected to take over as the family head. It falls on the eighth day of Margasira month on Odia calendar.
Vasanta Panchami (ବସନ୍ତ ପଞ୍ଚମୀ) also observed as Saraswati Puja (ସରସ୍ୱତୀ ପୂଜା) occurs on the fifth day of the first lunar fortnight of Magha month (Magha Shukla Panchami). Saraswati is the goddess of knowledge and wisdom in Hinduism. Traditionally, children get their first letters on this day. Almost all the educational institutions observe this festival. It also marks the arrival of spring.
Maha Shivaratri (ମହା ଶିବରାତ୍ରି) is celebrated on the 14th day on the waning lunar fortnight in the Phalguna month. It is considered the night on which Shiva perform the Tandava dance. It is observed by fasting by adherents, especially. Married women pray for the well-being of their spouses. Unmarried women may pray for an ideal husband. Shiva temples are visited on this day and night. Bael fruit and leaves are offered to the god, who is worshiped in the form of a lingam. Devotees hold an whole-night Jagarana and break their fast once the Mahadeep goes on to top of the temple.
Bali Jatra (ବାଲି ଯାତ୍ରା) is celebrated to mark the voyages made by ancient sea traders from Odisha to Bali. It falls on the day of Kartik Purnima. On this day, miniatures of the boats called boitas are floated in ponds, rivers and the sea. Festival is celebrated for a week all across the state. A major annual trade fair BALI YATRA is also held in Cuttack.
The Gaja-Lakshmi Puja (ଗଜଲକ୍ଷ୍ମୀ ପୂଜା) is celebrated primarily in Dhenkanal and Kendrapara town. It is an 11-day festival dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi, which begins on Kumar Purnima.
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. The marriage ceremony is undertaken on the sixth day of Jyeshtha month.
Dhanu Jatra is a large-scale reenactment of the reign and death of the asura king Kansa which takes place annually in Bargarh in Western India. During the period of 1 to 11 January, the town of Bargarh is assumed to be the mythical city of Mathura. The district collector and police superintendent also pretend to be employees of Kansa. The festival begins with the marriage of Vasudeva and Devaki. Ambapalli village is treated as Gopapur. During the festival, an actor pretending to be Kansa issues social messages which are contrary to mythical character.
Every year in the month of February, Dhenkanal district of Odisha organizes a 3-day festival which is celebrated by the Mahima religion Sadhus to pay homage to supreme Mahima Gosain. Visitors from all over India, flock to Joranda District to witness the grand fair also, known as Mahima Mela which falls on the Magha Purnima day as per Odia calendar.
One of the India's biggest carnivals is Taratarini Mela which is celebrated with a lot of joy and enthusiasm every Tuesday in the month of Chaitra at Tara Tarini Pitha.
Vishwakarma Puja is a widely celebrated festival in India. This festival is dedicated to the God of Architecture Lord Vishwakarma and this day lies every year on the month of September.
Ekamra Utsav is one of the major festival of Bhubaneswar, held to promote the rich cultural heritage of Odisha. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, Ekamra Utsav which lasts for 10 days is actually a multi disciplinary event comprising of National Handloom Exhibition (consisting of fabrics gathered from the famous textile centers. The event comprises of Folk Festival, Food Festival, National Handloom & Handicraft Exhibition. According to mythology Lord Shiva once upon a time is said to have meditated, in a forest called 'Ekamra Kanan' known for its thick vegetation of mango trees.
RAJARANI MUSIC FESTIVAL : January
MUKTESWAR DANCE FESTIVAL : January
KHANDAGIRI UDAYAGIRI MAHOTSAV : February
TOSHALI NATIONAL CRAFTS MELA 2019 : December
NATIONAL CHILIKA BIRD FESTIVAL : January