Deogarh: ‘Pua Juintia’ is being celebrated across western Odisha today where mothers across the region keep a 24-long fast and pray for long lives and well being of their offsprings.
‘Pua Juintia’, also known as ‘Dutibahana Osha’, is a significant festival in the western region of the state as it marks the umbilical relationship between mother and her children.
The festival is observed on Ashwina Krushnapakhya Ashtami (eighth day of the dark fortnight of Odia month Ashwina). On this auspicious day, mothers gather in groups at open spaces in their respective localities and perform the puja in the evening.
As per reports, women in Bargarh, Bolangir, Boudh, Deogarh, Jharsuguda, Nuapada, Sambalpur, Subarnapur, Sundargarh district observe ‘Pua Juintia’ with much fervour and gaiety.
Scores of women from Deogarh district are also observing the festival for the well being of their children. Reportedly, the women are observing the festival at several places in the district.
During the festival, Lord Dutibahana is worshipped at the open space, which is decorated with mango leaves and flowers. The mothers worship Lord Dutibahana with 108 duba (strands of green grass) and 108 grains of Arua rice (non-boiled rice) wrapped in a fresh Sal leaf beside the juintia (thread), jugar (made of puffed paddy) and tikhri (made of mung) as prasad. A similar wrapping is also made for each of the children and it is part of the offering to Lord Dutibahana.
On the wee hours of the next day, the mothers take a holy dip in the nearby river or water bodies and perform rituals on the banks. Then, they touch each wrapping of green grass bundled together and packed in a sal leaf on their children from head to toe seven times.
The most important ritual of the festival is touching the strand of grass as it is believed that it protects the children from ills and evils. Then, the Juintia thread is tied on the wrists of the children. This apart, various delicacies and gifts are also offered and the mothers break their fast.