FAIRS AND FESTIVALS OF PURI

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Dayanalagi

Dayanalagi festival is celebrated on the thirteenth and forteenth days of the bright fortnight of Chaitra masa. This festival is specially celebrated in Puri. On the thirttenth day deities of Rama and Krishna are taken in procession to the Jagannath Ballava matha near market square. Here the deities get their Dayana leaves from the garden of the matha. On the forteenth day the leaves are offered to Lord Jagannath, brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra. Huge gathering is also made in Jagannath temple.

Navakalebara

The Navakalebara festival is an immensely significant religious ritual, wherein the idols of the three deities- Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra change their external forms. New idols are carved out of specially Sanctified chandana-neem trees, within strictly prescribed regulations. The 'Daru' (wood) is then transported to the temple in full regalia.

At this point the Vishwakarmas (wood sculptors) step in and work for 21 days and nights, in strict secrecy, giving final shape to the idols. The new idols are then enshrined after transfering the 'Brahma' within each idol into their new form. This is again done in strict accordence to the religious norms.

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Makara Sankranti

On the first day of the month of Magha (mid January) the Sun enters the tropic of capricon or the house of Makara. The period from this day till the appearance of the Sun at the extreme north is called Uttrayanna. This festival is also important for all the Hindus including the Adivasis or the tribes.Since harvesting is over by then and there is leisure, the cultivating class celebrates lavishly with food, drink and floral decorations. Makara Sankranti is observed for a day, no doubt but the yatra or the fair lasts for two to three days.

Saraswati Puja

Saraswati puja, otherwise known as Sri Panchami or Basanta Panchami, is celebrated in Odia Magha month (February). Vidyadatri Maa Saraswati is worshipped by school children throughout Puri at the commencement of Spring season. Clay images of Goddess Saraswati are installed in gorgeously raised platforms in all educational institutions at Puri. Large gathering is also made in Jagannath temple. Lord Jagannath is dressed with 'Padma Vesha'.

Anala Navami

This festival also known as 'Radha Pada Darshana' is celebrated in Odia Magha month. 'Anala Navami' is specially observed in the temple of 'Sakhi Gopinatha' at Sakhigopal, where large gathering is made to offer darshana to the 'Skin Foot' of Radha. Throughout the year her foot is covered with her dress, only on this day devotees are allowed to see her foot. On this day Goddess Jagadhatri (Maha Saraswati Sakti) is worshipped.

Janmastami

Janmastami, otherwise known as 'Sri Krishna Janma', falls on 8th day of the first fort night of Bhadrava month. This festival is widely celebrated throughout the city. In this night Lord Srikrishna took birth. Krishna devotees make fasting on this day. Various rituals are performed to commemorate events which took place during Krishna's incarnation in Vrindaban. These rituals have names like Banabhoji, Kolibika, Bakasura Badha, Kaliyadalan, Arghasura Badha and Pralambasura Badha. On the thirteenth day Lord Jagannath and Lord Balabhadra are dressed like Sri Krishna and Balaram.

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