Festivals of Odisha:
India is the land of festivals, every festival has its own significance and celebrates with great spirit. Odisha has a rich tradition and culture. The famous Kalinga war happened on this land and caused Ashoka the great as a great follower of Buddhism. Such spirituality flows throughout Odisha state. The same spirit made the people celebrate various festivals with the utmost respect.
The Odisha people celebrated Durga Puja with great enthusiasm. The festival falls in the month of Ashwin or Kartik. The people decorated the streets with lights and arranged pandals in the streets. Later, the Idols of Goddess Durga Maa, Goddess Saraswati, and Goddess Lakshmi Devi culminate in the Pandals. In the morning and evening, the priest chants the mantras and offer the artist. The devotees sing the bhajans to enrich the celebrations at peak. This festival brought great spirit among the people of Odisha.
Once the present Odisha was famous as Kalinga. Kalinga had a great significance in the Indian history. The land is the witness for the famous Kalinga war, which caused many brutal murders under Maurya king Ashoka the great. The same land was the cause to change entire attitude of Ashoka towards the war. He trusted in peace and decided to live in peace and non-violence. This thought leads him to follow Buddhism. So celebrating Kalinga Mahotsav signifies the victory of peace over war. During the festival celebrations at Dhauli Shanti Stupa, the martial artists perform the ancient martial arts belonged to Mauryan Dynasty. This martial arts performance attracts the people from all over India. Generally, the festival celebrates on 10 and 11 of January every year.
This is a 42 day long celebrating festival at Jaganatha temple at Puri. Chandan yatra also famous as Gandhanalapana Yatra. At Jaganatha temple, the priests worship the deities with sandal mixed water. ‘Chapa’ the traditional white and red colored boats decorated beautifully. Later, the deities brought out the temple for the holy patron in the water on the boats. This celebration also held in other Vishnu and Shiva temples. Thousands of pilgrimages attend this celebration. Generally, the festival occurs in April or May.
Konark Dance Festival:
This festival celebrated at Konark Temple, purely dedicated to Sun God. This festival is the symbol of Unity in diversity. The famous artists perform the Odissi dance to pay tribute to the beautiful Sun Temple. Odisha dance academy was organizing this festival every year. Many pilgrims from all over the world attend to this festival celebrations. The festival held from 1st December to 5th December.
This festival celebrated in April in the significance of new year as per the Odisha calendar. The festival also famous as Pana Sankranti. This is a harvest festival, the devotees worship Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva and other Gods on this day. The devotees visited Goddess Devi temples and pray for the prosperity of their future. Generally, the festival celebrated on 14th and 15th April of every year. The farmers do simple work in the fields.