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.
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.
With Durga Puja just weeks away, the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) published rules on Thursday that are in conformity with the Odisha government’s full festival guidelines issued on August 9, 2021.
From October 11 to October 13, 2021, the Durga Puja will be observed. As a result, any gathering for the festival’s celebration, including accompanying religious and cultural gatherings, would not be permitted in public under BMC authority, according to the newest announcement.
According to the BMC announcement, Puja Committees/Organisers can hold Durga Puja in Mandaps/Pandals if they follow all COVID-19 norms, such as social distance, wearing masks, and appropriate sanitization, and get permission from a fully authorized officer by the Commissioner of Police.
Here are the BMC guidelines:
1. Durga Puja celebrations, including accompanying religious and cultural gatherings, are not permitted in public under the jurisdiction of the BMC. Puja Committees / Organizers can hold Durga Puja at Mandaps / Pandals while adhering to all COVID-19 procedures, such as social distance, masks, proper sanitization, and so on, with permission from an officer officially approved by the Commissioner of Police, Bhubaneswar.
2. The Puja must be held in an indoor-like setting only for the purpose of performing rites, with no public involvement, pomp, or grandeur.
3. Mandaps / Pandals must be covered on three sides, with one side exposed solely for the priest to utilize for ceremonies. The fourth side should also be adequately covered to prevent devotees from viewing/darshan the idols in public.
4. The size of the idol must be less than 4 feet.
5. Throughout Puja or at any other time during these Puja days, no public speaker system will be used.
6. In the Pandal/Mandap, no more than 7 people are permitted at any given time, including the organizers/priests/Kartas/support staff, etc. All persons attending will be required to adhere to COVID-I9 procedures. Only individuals who have been completely vaccinated will be permitted to participate in Puja, according to the organizers.
7. The organizers will not lead an immersion procession. The idols will be submerged in BMC-created artificial ponds for this purpose.
Because the size and weight of the idol have been limited this time, only a maximum of 10 people should participate in the immersion. When conducting immersion rites, the Puja Committee should verify that all individuals engaged are properly immunized and follow COVID guidelines.
9. During the puja period, no religious procession of any sort, nor any musical or entertainment program, will be conducted by any public/group/club/puja committee, etc.
10. The Puja Committee should advise its members to maintain all permissions/individual COVID Vaccination certificates on hand at all times in case they are inspected by enforcement agencies.
After Vijay Rupani resigned on Sunday as the Chief Minister of Gujarat on Saturday, the state BJP called for a legislative party meeting on Sunday to choose his successor. The Bharatiya Janata Party will hold the meeting at the BJP state headquarters in Ahmedabad today at 2 pm.
Among the frontrunners for the CM post are Deputy CM Nitin Patel, former state minister Gordhan Zadafia, and Praful K Patel, Administrator of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and Lakshadweep reported India Today quoting its sources.
Amid speculation of new names for the CM post, one was that of Gujarat BJP chief CR Patil. But later on Saturday, he told reporters, “Vijay Rupani has resigned from his post today. Naturally, there are a lot of names in the media for the new Chief Minister, including mine. I want to make it clear through this video that I am not in any such race.”
All BJP MLAs will reach the headquarters for a meeting. Union Minister Mansukh Mandaviya and Gujarat Deputy CM Nitin Patel were seen arriving in Gandhinagar’s BJP office on Saturday evening.
Meanwhile, BJP has appointed Union Ministers Narendra Singh Tomar and Pralhad Joshi have been appointed central observers and they will reach Ahmedabad on Sunday.
Vijay Rupani resigned on Saturday, saying, “I believe that now this journey of the development of Gujarat should proceed under the leadership of the prime minister with new enthusiasm and new energy. Keeping this in mind, I am resigning from the responsibility of the chief minister of Gujarat.”
“Now, whatever responsibility will be given to me by the party, I will work with full responsibility and new energy under the leadership of the prime minister and under the guidance of (BJP) national president,” he added.
Recently, BJP has been making a major reshuffle in the wake of the COVID-19 wave, which also saw a major overhaul by Prime Minister Narendra Modi of his own Cabinet, continues as Vijay Rupani on Saturday became the fourth chief minister to go.
As the party works to refurbish its governance model, the move to drop Rupani as Gujarat’s Chief Minister, after easing out two chief ministers in Uttarakhand and one in Karnataka in the last few months, contrasts starkly with its decision to remain unyielding in backing its chief ministerial picks during Modi’s first term despite trenchant voices against some of them.
Political watchers believe the changes highlight the BJP leadership’s analysis of the ground feedback and its readiness to address them, even though a final word on the shake-up can only be delivered at the elections.
Anandiben Patel was the only chief minister who was asked by the party to quit during the 2014-19 period. The party had cited its convention of retiring those over 75 years of age from government positions to replace her with Rupani as Gujarat’s chief minister in 2016.
Over five years later, Rupani (65) resigned on Saturday amid question marks over his credentials as an administrator.
While the party did not immediately announce Rupani’s replacement, the recent spate of changes effected by the party at the central government or in states ruled by it has marked a return of more conventional politics with the standard political fault-lines of caste identity pushing the urge to experiment to the background.
The enhanced share of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) at 27 and dalits at 12 in the Union Council of Ministers following its expansion in July was showcased as a major highlight.
The saffron party also replaced Lingayat stalwart B S Yediyurappa as Karnataka CM with another Lingayat leader Basavaraj S Bommai.
In Uttarakhand, it replaced two Thakur chief ministers with another Thakur leader, and speculation was rife that Rupani, who comes from a numerically insignificant Jain community, may make way for a Patidar, the largest community in the western state.
Assam also saw the BJP replacing its chief minister of five years Sarbananda Sonowal with Himanta Biswa Sarma following the assembly elections earlier this year. However, this was considered more a case of the party rewarding Sarma than it taking any dim view of his predecessor, who was later made a Cabinet minister in the Modi government.
In keeping with its practice of brooding younger leaders at key positions since Modi became its preeminent leader, the BJP has vested a much fresher generation of leaders with power at the Centre as well as states.
The party had undertaken extensive governance and organizational feedback exercise as its handling of the second wave of the COVID-19 drew criticism from many quarters.
Though it put up a brave front in public, it has gone about affecting an image makeover, many insiders believe. At the Centre, it dropped Health Minister Harsh Vardhan and brought Mansukh Mandaviya, seen more hands-on and goal-oriented, and also edged out many veterans, including Ravi Shankar Prasad and Prakash Javadekar