Bhubaneswar: Odia festival Kumar Purnima was observed with much fanfare on Saturday. Meanwhile, this Purnima or full moon day also marked the beginning of the 11-day long Gajalaxmi Puja that is celebrated grandly in various cities of the state.
Celebrated on the last day of the Ashwin month, the Kumar Purnima festival is the occasion to observe the birthday of Lord Kartikeswara, the son of Shiva and Parvati. In the morning, unmarried girls get ready with new garments, ornaments and accessories and worship the Sun God. But the major part of the festival is the rituals hosted in the evening to please the Moon God. A crescent shaped food item ‘Chanda’ is prepared out of bananas, cottage cheese, grated coconut and flowers and this is offered to the full moon in the evening. Through the rituals girls are believed to pray for a good life partner.
An array of delicious country cakes or pithas is prepared at home and the floors of the verandah as well as backyard and the entrance of the house are decorated with design patterns created with rice paste.
The Shyampur village at the outskirts of Bhubaneswar hosts a mock wedding ceremony between two girls. Though it is a ritual just to add fun to the festival, the villagers host a real feast for the wedding.
The capital city and Dhenkanal are celebrating Gajalaxmi Puja. Kendrapada is also witnessing festivities on the occasion as are major cities like Cuttack, Rourkela, Sambalpur and so on.