Samba Dashami – A Distinctive Festival in Odisha

Samba Dashami is a distinctive festival in Odisha. On the tenth day of Shukla Paksha of Pausa Masa, it is celebrated as per the Odia calendar. The day is dedicated to the worship of the Sun God. This puja believes that the Sun has the power to heal diseases. This festival is observed by elderly women who worship the Sun God to keep their children free from all diseases.

The belief behind the festival

The significance of Samba Dashami surrounds Samba, the son of Krishna. Samba was very notorious. Once, Samba teased Narada for his looks. The Sage Narada complained about Samba to Krishna. Lord Krishna with anger cursed him to suffer from leprosy. As the curse cannot be revoked, he advised Samba to pray to the Sun God who can cure him.

After twelve years of severe penance near Sun Temple Konark, samba pleased the Sun God and the holy water of the river cured him on Shukla Paksha Dashami. Since then, samba Dashami has been observed in Odisha in every Odia family.

Rituals of Samba Dashami

On this day, women particularly mothers worship Sun God for the well-being and security of their children. For each child, a particular item is offered to the Sun God on the first Samba Dashami after birth in a family. The items include fruits, sweets, and cooked items.

A variety of items such as Khiri, Khechudi, puri, Ghanta Tarkari, Manda Pitha, Kakara, Chhena Poda, Cheenaguda, Poda Pitha, Arisha Pitha, Chakuli Pitha, Bara, Muaan, Rasagola, Gulab jamun, Jilapi, Cheenagaja, etc. are prepared as Bhoga by mothers. All the cooked food is served on brinjal leaves, along with a bowl of turmeric water with betel leaves. The women View the Sun God through the bowl and offer all dishes to the Sun God by the name of each member of the family.

On this day, women in the family wake up before sunrise. After bathing they prepare dishes such as puri, Khiri, Khechudi, and mixed curry, and offer them to the Sun God at sunrise.

At noon, a bowl of turmeric water along with betel leaves is taken to Chaunra and offered there. The women View the Sun God through the bowl and offer all dishes to Sun God. All the dishes are served on brinjal leaves.

In the evening, another puja as a part of Samba Dashami is observed. It is known as Mahakala puja in which Budha Chakuli is offered to Yama for the long life of family members.

This festival is mostly observed by the women who appease the Sun God to keep their children free from all diseases. Those who are childless also pray for their children to The Sun God.

Family members and children have a fun time on this day as they can enjoy and taste the traditional cakes or Pithas. Every year children, as well as elders, impatiently wait for the arrival of this festival.

Samba Dashami Foods

Samba Dashami Foods
Source: Pragativadi

In Samba Dashami, there are a variety of food items are offered to Sun God such as Khechudi, Puri, Ghanta Tarkari, Kakara, Chhena Poda, Chakuli Pitha, Bara, Rasagola, Gulab jamun, Jilapi, Pitha (Kakara Pitha, Poda Pitha, and Arisha Pitha), Makar Chaula, Chhenaguda, Dhanu Muaan, and Chhenagaja.

Samba Dashami Date 2024

Samba Dashami is a unique festival in Odisha, it is observed by the elderly women who worship the Sun God on the tenth day of Shukla Paksha of Pausa Masa as per the Odia calendar. Samba Dashami’s 2024 date is January 10.

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