Most of us have seen the viral Instagram reel saying “There’s something special about the oldest, they were born into that role for a reason, that wasn’t a coincidence, they were supposed to come first, they came into the world to turn yours upside-down, they are the leaders, they are nurtures..” & that’s true. And to celebrate the first-borns we Odias have the festival called “Prathamastami”. It is celebrated with great pomp & show all over Odisha.
Prathamastami falls on the Ashtami Tithi of the Hindu calendar’s Margasira month in the Krishna paksha.
This usually takes place in November or December. Prathamastami was celebrated today in 2021, and firstborns received all of the pampering associated with a birthday.
What is the reason to celebrate Prathamastami?
Prathamastami is a festival that honours firstborn children.
After parents, it is believed that firstborns are the next in line to care for a family. In the event that both parents die, the firstborns take on the family’s responsibilities and look after its welfare. The firstborn are also referred to as podhuan.
What rituals happen on Prathamastami?
Mothers create turmeric leaf-wrapped pitha, also known as Enduri Pitha, on the day of Prathamastami.
Firstborns are given new garments. These new garments, as well as sweets and other delicacies, are given to them by their maternal uncle or Mamu, also known as Ashtami Bandhu.
The youngsters also go to their maternal uncle’s house for a feast of mua, dalma, and pitha, among other things.
According to mythology, Lord Krishna and Balarama visited their maternal uncle Raja Kansa in a similar fashion, dressed in new garments, and were honoured upon their arrival.
What celebrations are done done on the eve of Prathamastami?
During Prathamastami, Lord Lingaraj rides in a palanquin out of his shrine and momentarily stops at the Papanashini tank on his route to Kapila Matha, his maternal uncle’s house.
On this day, his maternal uncle Lord Baruneswar and aunt goddess Banadevi look up to him with tremendous admiration.
Farmers also worship the goddess Soubhagini for blessing them with healthy produce and children. The goddess is also given the first Dhana, or rice, of the season, which has just been harvested.
As a consequence, Prathamastami is also known as Soubhagini Ashtami. Due to an ancient practise of worshipping to Lord Bhairava on this day, it is known as Kala Bhairava Ashtami in many regions.
What food & delicacies are prepared to celebrate this festival?
All Prathamastamis, after all, are incomplete without a range of foods and cuisines. The majority of the offerings presented on Prathamastami are made of rice. Enduri Pitha, an extended pitha formed inside the turmeric leaf, is one of the most well-known offerings.
It is stuffed with jaggery or cottage cheese and shredded coconut.
People like it just as it is, or with matar ki sabzi and chana sabzi.
The scent of the turmeric leaf lingers over the pitha, making it unique and popular with both children and adults. People also consume a lot of sweets and pitha made from fresh sugarcane juice, some with potato filling, and kheer made with the first rice harvested.
What is special about this festival & how it always stays in our heart?
Prathamastami is a festival that celebrates the children’s relationship to their maternal side of the family, as well as the duty that firstborns bear for their parents. Getting them new clothes or gifts is simply one component of a routine to show them how special they are, but it is not the only one.
In many families, the second kid is honoured just as much as the first, and why not? It’s like the children’s second birthday. Prathamastami is a joyous day celebrated by children and firstborns in particular. Mothers demonstrate their enduring love for their children by preparing numerous delicacies for them. Families get together, and everyone indulges in a bit more sweet on that particular day.
Kartik Purnima Celebrations In Odisha
Wake up early + Take a shower + Go to nearest water bodies + Float toy boats with Diyas = Kartik Purnima
Kartik Purnima, the full moon of the Hindu holy month Kartik, considered one of the most beautiful days in the Hindu calendar, is viewed with great enthusiasm in the Odisha Province.
At dawn, people walks of life observe the ‘Boita Bandana’ tradition with floating toy boats in nearby water. They set up boats full of betel leaves, fruit, coins, diyas, candles, etc. Crackers also exploded to celebrate the event.
However some believe that tradition is designed to worship ancestors and claim their blessings.
In the beautiful Kartik moon, devotees go to the temple and eat only vegetarian food. The last five days of the month are considered the most important and are known as “Panchuka” The last day is celebrated as Kartika Purnima.
Many women, especially widows and old women keep a special brata and eat only once a day for a whole month. And these devotees are called “Habisyali”. Their brata comes to an end on this beautiful day.
The famous Bali Jatra, an annual exhibition on the Mahanadi River in Cuttack, kicks off this day. A long and fair church, literally means A Voyage to Bali. The festival is held in Gadagadia Ghata on the Mahanadi River, marking the day when ancient sailors embarked on their commercial voyage.
Some people do not eat non-veg for whole month. In fact some do not eat foods made using onion and garlic.
The toy boat festival also marks the end of a month-long abstinence from non-vegetarian food for many Odia families. The next day of Kartika Purnima is celebrated as ‘Chada Khai’ people start eating non-vegetarian food from that day.
Panchuka is observed in Odisha during the last five days of the sacred month Kartika.
Fasting is observed by Lord Jagannath worshippers during this five-day period, which begins on Bada Ekadashi and finishes on Kartika Purnima.
It is customary for Odias to abstain from eating non-vegetarian cuisine for the full month of Kartika. Those who are unable to do so should refrain from eating non-vegetarian food for the next five days, or Panchuka, also known as Bagаpanchuka. Even cranes are supposed to become religious around this time and stop eating fish.
What are the rituals followed during Panchuka?
Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Narayan are adored for five days. Married women pray for the long life of their husbands by worshipping Goddess Vrundavati, the wife of the demon Jalandhara, in the shape of the sacred tulsi plant.
They also use gorgeous Muruja or Rangoli to beautify the space.
Vrundavati’s chastity and purity are said to have saved the life of her husband, who did not practise any dharma. Women feel that by honouring Vundavati, they can achieve the same level of merit.
On each of the five days, Lord Jagannath is dressed in a new Bhesa (attire). On the first day, he is dressed as Laxminarayan, followed by Bankachuda Bhesa, Tribikrama Bhesa, and Laxminrusingha Bhesa. The Lord gives devotees darshan in Rajarajeswar Bhesa on the last day of Panchuka, which is exceedingly important.
However, owing to COVID-19 guidelines, devotees will not be permitted to attend the Panchuka ceremony at the temple this year.
Diwali 2022: Significance, Current Scenario, Ways of Celebration and Must Watch Inspirational Videos
Into The Core of The Festival of Lights
Here comes the festival of lights, 4 November 2021, where evil stands defeated. The joyous occasion when all the houses in the streets are lit with lamps, and the smell of delicacies lingers in the corridor. It is the festival of love and goodness that brings about happiness, at times incarnated as “grand Diwali sales”, at others in the form of a holiday from work. Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped in every Hindu house, with prayers for prosperity and well-being. It is celebrated on the new moon day, i.e., the 15th day of Kartik month according to the Indian calendar.
Here is how it all started, how it is going, where it might land, and all the possible ways we could enjoy the festival.
1. In Gujarat, their new year coincides with Diwali, and they worship Goddess Lakshmi on this auspicious day.
2. Lord Krishna killed Narakasura, and freed 16,000 women enslaved by the demon. Later he married all of them to restore their dignity. The death of this demon, who caused havoc, came to be celebrated as Diwali on earth.
3. According to Mahabharata, the return of the Pandavas after thirteen years of exile is celebrated as Diwali by lighting earthen lamps in houses.
4. Nirvana was attained by Maharshi Dayananda, the founder of Arya Samaj and Lorad Mahavira on this day.
5. In Sikhism, Guru Hargobind Ji was freed from the prison of Jahangir which led to the lighting of lamps by the people. Also, the foundation of the Golden Temple at Amritsar was laid on Diwali.
6. For the agrarian society, Diwali stands for a harvest festival.
7. As per mythology, Diwali commemorates the success of King Prithu (after whom the earth is named Prithvi) in extracting crops and wealth from the earth.
8. Ramayana, the origin of most prevalent beliefs for the celebration of Diwali, describes the day as the victory of good over evil, as Rama, Lakshman, and Sita return to Ayodhaya after 14 years of exile.
From the 2020 Air quality average, it is found that, the concentration of PM2.5 in India’s air is 5.2 times above the WHO annual air quality guideline value. India ranks third in the worst air quality rankings in 2020. This must be an eye opener for us. Since its existence Diwali has been a festival of lights, but we have converted it to the festival of fire crackers according to our convenience. Now, people compare usage of fire crackers in Diwali to that of a Christmas tree in Christmas. Associating crackers with our culture, which actually has never propagated any such usage, the people are only harming themselves and everyone around them. Although the bursting of crackers is not the only reason for pollution, both air and sound, it definitely adds to the issues.
The government has come up with green crackers, which is an alternative for the satisfaction of the unsatisfied masses, who had lashed the ban on crackers. These green crackers only have lesser chemicals, with a lower or zero proportion of harmful substances, which means diminished effects on the environment and the health of people.
WAYS OF CELEBRATION:
Diwali is the festival of hope, of love and of the defeat of darkness. This Diwali, you can try:
- Sharing food with the hungry.
- Buying earthen lamps and other materials from local vendors.
- Making beautiful rangoli.
- Switching to Green Crackers, in case you go for crackers.
- Not forgetting to use masks, sanitizers and all other precautions in the surroundings of merriment.
POPULAR INSPIRATIONAL ADVERTISEMENTS ON DIWALI:
1.Amazon’s ad film with the #DeliverTheLove motto.
2. HP’s motivating ad film of being the lamp of light in someone’s life, with the tag #DiyeSeDiyaJalao.
3.Vivo’s initiative with the tagline #JoyOfHomecoming has a message to unite with family, this Diwali.
4. A video by HP which has a heart-warming poetic narration with the motto of “Go Local“. It showcases that a small step can enlighten someone’s life.
Dispelling ignorance and hatred, along with lighting ourselves from within with the virtues of compassion and positivity is what defines the essence of Diwali. Happy Diwali to all the readers.
The Orissa High Court today approved the sale and usage of green crackers in the state for this year’s Diwali celebration. On Diwali, from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., the court has approved the use of crackers for two hours.
The court stated, however, that the green crackers must be licensed by the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO). The sale of green crackers will be conducted in accordance with the Special Relief Commissioner’s rules (SRC). The All Odisha Fireworks Dealers Association had petitioned the High Court to allow the selling of green crackers during Diwali in Odisha.
The Supreme Court has also directed all state governments and union territories to guarantee that its directives against the use of barium salts in pyrotechnics are carefully enforced, emphasizing that there is no outright prohibition on the usage of fireworks, just those that include forbidden elements.
“It is made plain that there is no comprehensive restriction on the use of firecrackers,” a bench of Justices M.R. Shah and A.S. Bopanna stated. Only those firecrackers that are deemed to be harmful to health and damaging the health of residents, particularly senior citizens and children, are prohibited, as specified above.”
The bench stated that festivities cannot be held at the expense of others’ health and that no one may be allowed to infringe on the right to health of others provided by Article 21 of the Constitution under the pretense of celebration.
“No one can be allowed to play with the lives of others, especially old persons and children,” it said.
The bench expressed regret that, despite the high court’s multiple orders, there remains an obvious breach, with the manufacturing, sale, and usage of forbidden fireworks allegedly continuing.
Despite the fact that the use of barium salts in firecrackers has been banned, the manufacture and use of joined fireworks have been prohibited, as has to transport and selling them across the country, the banned firecrackers are still being manufactured, transported, sold, and used, according to the report.
Any lapse on the part of the states/state agencies and UTs would be taken extremely severely, the bench stated.
“Banned chemicals firecrackers are being marketed under the name of ‘green crackers,’ and there is mislabelling on the boxes, and even the QR codes supplied on the boxes of ‘green crackers’ are suspected to be fake,” it said, citing a CBI probe.
“If any banned firecrackers are found to be manufactured, sold, or used in any particular area,” the Supreme Court warned, “the Chief Secretary of the concerned State, the Secretary (Home), and the Commissioner of Police, District Superintendent of Police of the concerned area, and the SHO/Police Officer-in-charge of the concerned police station will be held personally liable.”
It made it clear that no one is allowed to ignore or resist its orders, and that any intentional or purposeful defiance would be taken very harshly.
Previously, the Supreme Court ruled that only licensed dealers may sell firecrackers and that only green crackers can be sold, and that internet sales of firecrackers are prohibited.
The Supreme Court had ruled on a petition seeking a ban on the manufacture and sale of firecrackers, citing rising levels of air pollution as a reason.
In observance of Eid Milad-un-Nabi and Gajalaxmi Puja, the Odisha government has declared that banks and other “banking institutions” in the state would be closed on October 19-20. (i.e. Tuesday and Wednesday). The revenue and disaster management department of the Odisha government issued the statement in an official notification, noting that the aforementioned institutions will be closed for these two days due to statewide festivities.
“On the occasion of ‘Eid-Milad’ and ‘Gajalaxmi Puja,’ banks and other banking institutions in Odisha will remain closed on October 19 (Tuesday) and October 20, 2021 (Wednesday),” said the revenue and disaster management department in a statement.
Importance of Gajalaxmi Puja in Odisha
Odisha celebrates Gajalaxmi Puja as part of a half-century-old custom in the state’s Dhenkanal district. The Laxmi Puja celebrations last 11 days, beginning with Kumara Purnima, and are highlighted by colorful decorations, temporary marketplaces, music, and dance programs, and other events around the state in a spectacular yearly festival attended by people of various religions, castes, and tribes.
Gaja Laxmi Puja festivities in Odisha’s Dhenkanal will begin on October 19, the day of Kumara Purnima, and will go until dawn on October 29. However, due to the current coronavirus illness (Covid-19) scenario, the government has issued directives for subdued festivities.
Importance of Eid Milad celebration
The yearly celebration of Eid Milad-un-Nabi commemorates the birth anniversary of Prophet Muhammad. The event takes place in the month of Rabi-ul-Awwal, the third month of the Islamic lunar calendar, and begins with the sighting of the moon. The event also commemorates the Prophet’s death anniversary.
According to the Gregorian calendar, Eid Milad celebrations will begin on the evening of October 18 and will continue until the evening of October 19. Along with India, the holiday is observed in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and other subcontinental countries.
One of the most significant aspects of Eid Milad-un-Nabi is commemorating Prophet Muhammad’s life, including his teachings, hardships, and character since he is claimed to have forgiven even his enemies. Muslims mark the day by donning new clothing, praying, and sharing presents. The community gathers at a mosque or a dargah to start the day with a morning prayer, followed by a parade.
Goddesses Worshiped In Odisha: In Hinduism, women are worshipped as a Goddess. Specially during Navratri unmarried little girls are worshiped as they considered to be the incarnation of the Goddesses. In India Goddesses are represented as Shakti. Some of the Hindu Goddesses are Maa Durga, Laxmi, Saraswati, Parvati, Mahakali, Radha etc. Here are some lists of some Shakti pithas of Odisha;
Maa Katak Chandi:
Katak Chandi Temple is an ancient temple, situated near the bank of river Mahanadi at Cuttack District. This temple is the main attraction of Cuttack District. Goddess Katak Chandi has four hands: Pasa, Ankusha, Abhaya, Bara. The temple is especially dedicated for Durga Puja and Kali Puja. Dussehra observed for 16 days starting from Ashwina Krishna Ashtami to Ashwina Shukla Ashtami.
Banapur Bhagavati is one of the most famous temples of Odiisha situated in Banapur, Khordha district. It is one of the twelve Shakti Pithas mentioned in Odia Mahavarat written by Sarala Das. This famous temple was constructed by the Gajapati Maharaja of Puri. Maa Durga is worshiped as Bhagavati in this temple.
The 19th Century old Charchika temple is situated at Banki of Cuttack District in Odisha. The deity an eight armed goddess Chamunda is worshiped as Maa Durga. The eight hands of Chamunda are carrying weapons like Khadga, Katari, Kripan, Trident, Blood cup with one finger dipped in blood. It is believed that this famous Shakti pitha is created by Lord Parashuram.
Kakatpur Mangala is situated at Kakatpur 50 kms away from Puri. This temple is famous for Goddess Mangala. The Maa Mangala temple is also known as Serbia Mangala Mandir. There is a festival of the deity which is observed every year is known as Jhamu Jatra.
Maa Samaleswari Temple is a strong attraction of Western Odisha, situated in Sambalpur District. The deity is worshipped as Mahalaxmi, Adishakti, Saraswati in the region. The famous festival of Western Odisha ‘Nuakhai’ is especially observed in the temple. According to history, King Balaram Dev built this temple in the 16th Century.
Ghata Gaon Tarini:
Maa Ghata Gaon Tarini is a very famous pilgrimage of Odisha located at Keonjhar district. Maa tarini is worshiped in the temple. The locals observe Maha Bisuba Sankranti during the Chaitra Purnima with a great joy in the temple. Everyday the Dehury ritual performs like giving birth to the deity and smearing the body Sindoor. Coconuts and Red Hibiscus rosa (Gudhal) flowers are specially offered to the Goddess.
Biraja Temple or Biraja Kshetra is one of the ancient Hindu temples of Odisha located at Jajpur District. The temple was built in 13th century. The two armed Mahisamardini Biraja is worshipped as Maa Durga. According to the legends the Navi of Sati fell here and it became known as Navigaya. During Durga Puja, Goddess Biraja is taken out in chariot by a procession of 9 days, called as Rath Yatra of Maa Biraja.
This famous temple is situated at Jagatsingpur district of Odisha. Goddess Sarala is known as Vak Devi. The idol of Maa Sarala is of eight armed in Mahisamardini posture. The temple was constructed during the Bhauma Kara in 8th Century. The Odia New year Pana Sankranti, Dussehra and Dol Purnima are especially observed in this temple. Chandan Yatra, a very special occasion of Maa Sarala begins on Akshay Tritiya and observed for 21 days.(Shakti Pithas)
Goddesses Worshiped In Odisha
-By Adyasha Samal
Goddesses Worshiped In Odisha
Odisha Disallowed The Use Of Firecrackers: The Odisha government on Thursday has announced that the sale as well the usage of the firecrackers will be banned especially in the festive month of October. The decision was taken by the Special Relief Commissioner, officer Pradeep Kumar Jena. The decision seeks to stop the infection further spread.
In an order issued by the SRC, Jena said, “With a view to protecting the health of the general public and to curb the infection, the sale and use of the fire crackers shall remain prohibited during this festival season.”
Meanwhile, Jena has revised the night curfew schedule for cities like Bhubaneshwar and Cuttack for 10 days during the month of October. The new timing will commence from Oct 11 to 20. As a means to curb the deadly virus in both the cities, the night curfew will start from 8 PM and will continue till 5 PM in the morning. However, in the other parts of Odisha, the night curfew will continue from 10 PM to 5 AM.
According to the issued orders of the government on August 2021, all the festivals and other functions are to be celebrated following the norms, as said by the Special Relief Commissioner officer. Earlier, the Delhi Control Committee has banned the use of firecrackers in the national capital Delhi till January 1, 2022. The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that it cannot infringe the right to life of innocent people under the disguise of employment while considering a ban on firecrackers.
A bench headed by Justices M R Shah and A S Bopanna on Tuesday said that it is important to strike balance between employment, unemployment, and the right to life of the citizen. It even emphasised that under the guise of employment of the few, it cannot permit others to infringe the right to life of other innocent citizens.
Amazon India announced on Sunday that its ‘Great Indian Festival’ (GIF) 2021 would begin on October 3rd, continuing its commitment to help Small Medium Businesses (SMBs).
Amazon GIF 2021, according to the company, is dedicated to lakhs of small merchants, including over 75,000 local shops from 450 locations, who provide their unique product assortment to clients across the nation.
“Customer trust and the interests of our sellers, particularly the lakhs of small sellers and tens of thousands of local store owners throughout India, remain our top priorities,” the firm said in a statement.
“As always, Prime members will get early access to the Amazon Great Indian Festival, which will begin on October 3, 2021,” it said.
The shopping festival will also feature items from Amazon sellers under a variety of different programs, including Amazon Launchpad, Amazon Saheli, and Amazon Karigar, as well as leading Indian and international brands across a variety of categories.
Over 1,000 new product releases from leading companies such as Samsung, OnePlus, Xiaomi, Sony, Apple, Boat, Lenovo, HP, Asus, Fossil, Levi’s, BIBA, Allen Solly, Adidas, and others will be featured at the festival.
For their regular business purchases or corporate gifting for clients or staff, Amazon Business customers in India will be able to take advantage of special deals, bulk discounts, lower festive pricing offers, cashback, incentives, and more.