Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 14:
Odisha celebrated ‘Maha Bishuba Sankranti’ or ‘Pana Sankranti’, which marks the Odia New Year, with great fanfare throughout the state today.
The day was marked by Jhamu Yatra (fire walks), show of traditional martial art skills at various places and offerings to Lord Shiv with Panna (a drink with high fruit contents) at temples throughout the state. The atmosphere was festive and people were seen wishing each other and welcoming the New Year together.
The day also marks the introduction of new Panjika, which is an almanac of Hindu religious festivals, timings and predictions for the year. It is prepared as per solar calendar and incorporates the auspicious dates, times, the sun rise and sunset time, the starts and their movements etc from Mesha Sankranti till Mina Sankranti.
“It marks the beginning of the new Panjika in Odisha. It includes the dates and times for what to do and when including the movements of the stars and their effect on the individuals, state, country and the world. This will be in force for next one year, said Culture Expert Naresh Chandra Dash.
“As per the prediction, the country will over all have a peaceful year. The state also will be politically stable and peaceful, even though there will be minor exceptions such as cross talks once in a while,” Dash added.
At Puri, the traditional wrestlers came out of the Jaga Ghara, Akharas (training homes) and gymnasiums to showcase their wrestling skills after a worship of Lord Hanuman in front of hundreds of locals. They also took out rallies dressed in colourful outfits and traditional music throughout the city with great fanfare to celebrate the occasion.
At Sarala Pitha in Jagatsinghpur, it was a month long fair that came to an end today. Many people were seen carrying water pots atop their heads blessed by the deity Sarala and travelling from village to village came down to the temple at the end of the tour. A fire walk was also organized near the temple. Thousands of devotes thronged the temple to have a glimpse of the deity.
At the Tarini Temple at Ghatagaon in Keonjhar, thousands of devotees made a beeline to offer their prayers. Security system was tightened and barricades were erected to ensure discipline given the large inflow of visitors. Special arrangements were made to distribute the Prasad (food offered to lords).
At the Kamanadeva temple of Khurda Upar Sahi, the famous Meru Yatra was celebrated. More than 50 devotees who kept a fast for the fulfilment of their wishes were seen rolling over hot sand and thorns in front of hundreds of other praying and cheering devotees.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulating people of the state. “Wishing all my Odia sisters and brothers on Maha Vishuba Sankranti. I pray for a wonderful year ahead, full of prosperity and joy,” tweeted Modi congratulating the people.