Festivals of Odisha are inspired by the seasons, agricultural practices, and our dedication to various gods, goddesses, and folk deities. Many of the celebrations in Odisha is associated with Lord Jagannath through the Puri Rath yatra powers above all of them. So this is the list of popular cultural festivals celebrated by the folk deities of Odisha.
Popular cultural festivals of Odisha
1. Durga Puja: It is celebrated to worship the goddess of Power goddess Durga over her win against Mahishasura. The festival takes place in the month of Aswin and Kartik i.e September to October according to the English calendar. This festival
celebrated for 10 days.
2. Chandan yatra: Another famous festival of Odisha is Chandan yatra. This festival takes place in the month of Vaisakha for up to 42 days. The first period of Chandan yatra is known as Bahar or outer Chandan yatra and the 2nd period is called Bhitar Chandan yatra which is celebrated inside the temple.
3. Raja Parba or the festival swing: It is one of the few festivals are celebrated in Odisha to convey the message of empowerment against the societal taboos. The festival spans three days. The first day is Pahili Raja the second is Raja Sankranti and The third is Basi Raja.
4. Ratha Yatra: This is the most famous festival of Odisha. It is the annual chariot festival of Lord Jagannath and his siblings. On this day the lord comes out in the street to meet with the people of all caste, creeds,s, and communities. This festival falls on Asadha month i.e June/ July.
5. Magha Saptami: It is also one of the biggest festivals of Odisha after Rath Yatra. On this day thousands of people gather on the shore of the Bay of Bengal to offer their prayers to the sea. People take a dip in the Chandravaga sea and welcome the rising sun with prayers.
6. Makar Sankranti: On this day devotees of Odisha offer prayers and food to the sun god. The celebration of Makar Sankranti gives the preparation of the traditional dish makar Chula which includes uncooked newly harvested rice, a banana, coconut, cheese, and fruits. This dish is quite important for the devotees and definitely prepared on this day.
7. Mahabisuva Sankranti: This festival is celebrated to mark the new year as per the Odia calendar in this month of April. This festival is also known as Pana Sankranti, here ‘ Pana ‘ means a drink which is made in this auspicious occasion made from Mishri, fruits, and coconut over the Tulsi plant to represent the rain.
8. Dola Purnima: This festival is famously known as Holi. This festival is celebrated by everyone where people greet each other with a splash of color and sweets. This festival is also known as Dola yatra which falls on the full moon day in the month of Phalguna.
9. Prathamasthami: Prathamasthami falls on the Ashtami tithi of Krishna Paksha in the Odia the month of Margashira i.e November/December. This festival is for all the firstborns in the family and was honored by blessings and new clothes.
10. Khudurukuni Osha: Khudurukuni Osha is also know as Bhalukuni Osha which falls in the month of Bhadraba i.e August- September in English calendar. It is primarily celebrated by the coastal districts of Odisha. This festival is celebrated by young girls who seek safety, prosperity, and good health for their brothers. This festival portrays the beauty of the relationship between brother and sister.
11. Sabitri Amavasya: Sabitri Amavasya or Sabitri Brata is an important married woman in Odisha. In this festival married women conduct fast for their husbands and wish for their long life. During this day married women conduct fast and listen to the story of Satyabana and Savitri that how Sabitri impressed the god of death Yaamraj by her intellect and devotion towards her husband.
12. Kumar Purnima: This festival is celebrated by maidens for aspiring a handsome husband. Kumar Purnima the name depicts the lord Kumar Kartikeya the son of Lord Shiva and goddess Parvati he born on this auspicious day. Lord Kartikeya is one of the most eligible handsome bachelors in the Kingdom of God. Maidens wake up before the sunrise bathed and get dressed to perform the ritual so-called Janhi Osha for wishing a perfect husband like lord Kumar Kartikeya.
So these are some popular cultural puja festivals of Odisha that represent the culture and the beauty of this state is celebrated by the folk deities despite various religions and communities.