Bhubaneswar: In a move to promote Odia food, the people of Odisha decided to celebrate 20 March as ‘Pakhala Divas’. 20 March is declared Pakhala Dibasa (Universal Pakhala Day) by Odias worldwide.
Everyone decided to eat Pakhala on 20th march to welcome this summer with odishas traditional food.It is expected a big celebration from this year onwards along with Utkala divas.
‘Pakhaḷa’ is an Odia term for an food consisting of cooked rice washed or little fermented in water. The liquid part is known as ‘toraṇi’. It is unknown when pakhaḷa was first included in the daily diet of Eastern India, but it was included in the recipe of Lord Jagannath Temple of Puri. Having varied classifications, ‘Pakhala’ can be , ‘Jeera Pakhala’, ‘Dahi Pakhala’, ‘Basi Pakhala, ‘Sajja Pakhala’, ‘Chaiin Pakhala’.
The Jagannath Temple was built in the tenth Century AD, so Pakhal was in existence at that time.
Pakhala is widely eaten in the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent (including Nepal, Bangladesh and some part of Myanmar) among common people. Later the Five Star Hotels of Bhubaneswar included it in their menu and commercialized it to attract the guests, who love to taste Oriental cuisine.
As per sources, the reason behind observing the day on March 20 is that the March equinox will occur on March 20, 2017. This marks the beginning of spring in the northern hemisphere and falls (autumn) in the southern hemisphere from an astronomical viewpoint. Twice a year, around March 20 or 21 and September 22 or 23, the sun shines directly on the equator and the length of day and night are nearly equal in all parts of the world.