Odisha has a good deal of well-known tradition of Oshas, Bratas and Melas. The ceremony and sanctity of these traditional religious festivities are unparalleled. Out of various religious festivals, Kumar Purnima is one of the most popular and important festival of Orissa.
On the full moon day after Dusshera, Kumar Purnima is celebrated by all the unmarried girls & newly married brides in the state. It is believed that girls worship Lord Kartikeya to get grooms as handsome as Lord Kartikeya.
Like Raja Festival it is a festival of girls mainly. The unmarried girls and newly married brides take part in this festival in great deal. The central theme of this festival is – praying to moon god to be blessed by good and ideal husbands. The girls wear new clothes, take bath before sunrise and pray God for smooth marital life. They also fast on this day. In the evening when the moon rises girls pray moon by offering prasad. The girls in groups sing special songs programmed for this particular occasion. The atmosphere of Odisha becomes so addicted with cultural programmes that any outsider will be delighted to be at Odisha during this festival.
Kumar Purnima is the full-moon day in the month of Aswina Purnima (September-October). This autumn festival is one of the most popular and important festival of Orissa. ‘Kumar’ or ‘Kartikeya’, the handsome Son of Shiva was born on this day. As young girls always wish for handsome husbands, they propitiate Kumar, the most handsome among Gods.
In the early morning the girls after their bath, wear new garments and make food offerings to the Sun. They observe fasting for the day. In the evening when the moon rises they again make food offerings of a special variety and take it after the rituals are over. It is a festival of rejoicing for the girls. All of them sing and dance. The songs are of special meant for the occasion (Kuaanra Punei Jahna Go Phula Baula Beni………). They also play a kind of game known as ‘Puchi’ and also involve themselves in other varieties of country-games.
“Kuaanra Punei Jahna Go Phula Baula Beni,
Kuanri Jhianka Apurva Ananda Puchi Khelibaku Mana Go
Phula Baula beni…”
Laxmi puja also gets kickstarted all around odisha and specially in Dhenkanal district amid traditional fervour and gaiety on Tuesday, to continue for the next 11 days.