Odisha is the land of rich culture and tradition. It is renowned around the country and even the world, for its vibrant fairs and festivals. People here just need to reason to celebrate, an attitude reflected by the number of festivals which are a part of the state’s culture. Having a glimpse of some of these festivals guarantees an unforgettable experience for the people who visit the state.
Here is a list of top 10 Festivals in Odisha:
Dola Purnima or Dola Yatra is a colorful festival celebrated in the coastal parts of the state on the occasion of Holi. The festival marks the preparation of the Oriya calendar and it is dedicated to Lord Jagannath, who is regarded as the Master of the Universe.
Konark Dance Festival:
A festive show of some of the oldest and most popular classical dances of the country, the Konark Dance Festival is an indispensible part of the Odishan culture. The festival comprises of performances by famed artists of dance forms like Odissi, Manipuri, Kathak, Bharatnatyam and Chhau dances.
Raja Parba is a three day long festival, which is a part of the culture of coastal Odisha. Celebrated in the month of June, Raja Parba is dedicated to the Earth Goddess. The celebrations involve exchange of pithas and fun filled activities for girls.
Another well known festival of Odisha is Sitalsasthi, which marks the occasion of Lord Shiva and Parvati’s marriage. Celebrated in Ganjam district, it comprises of enactment of the event by people. They gather on the streets in revelry and eunuchs give special performances.
Bali Yatra is a festival marking the ancient tradition of sea trade between Odishan traders and those of Bali and Sumatra. It is celebrated in November, on the occasion of Kartik Purnima (the full moon day) in Cuttack.. Various handicrafts and artistic items are displayed for sale during this 10-12 day festival.
Puri Beach Festival:
This vibrant is more of cultural rather than religious in nature. A festival sponsored by the state tourism, it involves various activities such as musical shows and fashion shows. The festival is a great attraction for locals and tourists alike.
A festival of the Sambalpur district is Nuakhai, which comes on the day next to Ganesh Chaturthi. On this day, the local goddesses are appeased by offering them the new grain. Song and folk dance events also mark the lavish celebrations.
Another festival related to Lord Jagannath is the Chandan Yatra festival. It is mainly celebrated in the city of Puri, the home of Jagannath Temple. The festival falls in Vaishakha month of the Hindu calendar and extends over a period of 42 days.
Featuring next on the list of top 10 festivals of Odisha is the famous festival of Goddess Durga, the 10 day long Durga Puja. The festival falls in the Hindu calendar month of Ashwin (September/October) and is marked by grand celebrations in huge pandals. The first nine days are celebrated as navratris and the tenth day marked as Vijayadashmi and the killing of Mahishasura by Goddess Durga. The festival comprises of huge processions on the streets of the state.
1. Ratha Yatra:
The most famous festival of Odisha is the Ratha Yatra or chariot procession of Puri. It involves the transport of the idols of Lord Jagannath, Subhadra and Balabhadra from the Jagannath Temple to Gundicha Temple. Lakhs of devotees from around the world come here on this occasion to pull the ropes of the chariots carrying the idols. The festival falls in June or July.
All these amazing festivals make a part and parcel of the culture of the state and have become well known in the rest of the country as well as the world.