Odisha celebrates Kartika Purnima with great religious fervor with Boita Bandana

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Bhubaneswar: Kartika Purnima (Boita Bandana) is celebrated on the full moon of the Kartika month where people across the State go to the nearest water body to set afloat tiny banana, paper or thermocol boats with diyas, betel leaves, crackers, fruits and coins.

In Odisha, people celebrate Kartik Purnima or Boita Bandana. The festival is a mass commemoration of the state’s glorious maritime history when it was known as Kalinga and tradesmen and mariners known as sadhabas traveled on boitas to trade with distant island nations that share borders with the Bay of Bengal like Indonesia, Java, Sumatra and Bali.

While the people in Odisha set afloat the boats, they keep humming the popular rhyming phrase, “aa ka ma boi, pana gua thoi, pana gua tora, masaka dharama mora”. It is a prayer to keep the mariners safe during their voyage with the blessings earned during the Kartika month.

Interestingly, the odias eagerly wait for the Kartika Purnima as the following day, known as Chhadakhai, unleashes a long and famed trail of delight. After a month of strict vegetarian diet, Chhadakhai is the day for non-veg delicacies where the families get together and relish with a variety of special items.

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