Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Odisha (Orissa)

Fairs and Festivals



Dutiya Osha or Dutibahana Osha

The fast is observed on the eighth day of the dark fortnight of the lunar month of Ashwina for the fecundity of the luckless women. Women who are barren or are delivering still-born children or whose children have died. Worship the deified Dutibahana born of a Brahman widow and austerities by abstaining even from water. Various fruits are offered to the goddess who is credited with many great miracles.

Rai Damodar Varta And Panchuka (Panchaka)

  Hindu widows widely observe this fast in Odisha (Orissa) for twenty-five days from the first day of the lunar month of karthika. In the locally current myth, Rai, the daughter of the leader of the temple priests of Lord Jagannath at Puri was married to the Lord and thus was deified. She was granted a boon by the divine consort of the Lord Lakshmi that she would be worshipped along with Lakshmi. The widows worship Damodar along with Rai and Lakshmi by having only one meal of sun-dried rice, called 'havisha '. The last five days of this holy month are known as 'Bagapanchuka'. During these five days only Lakshmi and Narayan was worshipped. During the Panchuka days, married women also worship goddess Vrundavati at the altar with the sacred basil plant, by decorating the place with beautiful designs in multi-coloured powders made from indigenous herbs and other materials. 

Naga Chauthi Osha

This fast is observed on the fourth day of the bright fortnight of the lunar month of Karthika. Women worship naga serpent God Pingala in the form of a snake image made of gold, silver or of rice paste near an ant-hill. The fast is observed to protect the family members from snake-bite.

According to the myth, a merchant's wife had betrayed the trust of her 'Sangata' and also the serpent Mother Goddess (Naga Matha). All her six sons died of snake bite. The seventh son was married to a princess, who had faithfully observed this fast and she had been blessed by Naga Matha to be 'Aisulakshmi' or the virtuous wife whose husband would not die before she died. Therefore though her husband was accursed and was bitten to death, he was restored to life along with six elder brothers.

Kanji Amla Osha

This is held on the ninth day of the dark fortnight of the lunar month of  Margashira at the onset of cold  season in Odisha (Orissa). The housewife worship goddess Shathi whose image is placed among seven dried fishes decorated with vermilon, collyrium and yellow rags. 'Kanji' (The peculiar soup made with rice water cooked with vegetables) , Amalaki or Amla ( a sour berry) and dried fish are invigorating in winter.

Chaiti Mangalabara Osha

Goddess Mangala is worshipped on Tuesdays in the lunar month of Chaitra. In the myth one untouchable women belonging to the scavenger community known as 'Chaiti' used to offer wine, meat and eggs to Mangala. She once saw the inauspicious face of the Raja of the land and expressed her fear in disgust. The Raja got all her sons crushed under a husking lever. But they were restored to life by the grace of Mangala. The Raja learnt a lesson and his queen worshipped Mangala and was blessed with sons.

Sudasha Vrata

Sudasha Varta is observed by women on the tenth day in bright fortnight when it falls on Thursday. Lakshmi the Goddess of wealth is worshipped with offering of 10 steamed rice cakes (manda) under great austerities. With sacred thread of 10 strands, 10 knots are made praying to Lakshmi in her 10 forms and numes and tying together 10 grains of raw-rice and 10 blades of durva grass in a sacred leaf, an arm band is formed and worn for religious merit, prosperity and well being. In the myth a King had got back his kingdom and wealth as his wife observed Sudasha Vrata.

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