Chitalagi Amavasya: Significance and Rituals

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Puri: Chitalagi Amavasya or Chitou Amavasya is celebrated every year in Shrimandir. It is a festival dedicated to Lord Jagannath, the presiding deity of Odisha.

On this day, a special ritual is held at Shrimandir.

The word Chita in fact means decoration of forehead with special materials like chandana, musk and gorachana etc. But in Jagannath Temple, Puri three magnificent Chitas (ornaments of the foreheads) made of gold, diamond, sapphire and emerald are put on the three principal deities on Sravana Amabasya. This ritual is celebrated as “Chitraka Parba” ( Subarna Chita Lagi Anusthan – Rahu Rekha Lagi Anusthan ) in Jagannath temple. Connected with this is the decoration of Rahu Rekha. It is also an ornament of the head.

The Trinity is always decorated with their respective Chitas whole year. During Rath Yatra, the golden semblance or chita on the forehead of the deities are taken out on the day of Snana Purnima as they travel on the raths for nine days of visit to Gundicha temple And on this day the golden mark is again applied to the forehead of the Trinity.

This ritual is celebrated as “Chitraka Parba” ( Subarna Chita Lagi Anusthan – Rahu Rekha Lagi Anusthan ) in Jagannath temple. Connected with this is the decoration of Rahu Rekha. It is also an ornament of the head. This is removed from the head of the deities on the day of Snana Purnima and is again put on in the month of Sravana.

A special variety of rice-cake known as Chitou Pitha (like Pancake) is given to the deity as food-offering.

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