Fairs and Festivals of Orissa
Fairs and Festivals of Orissa Orissa is a colourful state where people of various religions stay together in harmony and celebrate many festivals as well. Basically a Hindu state, the capital of the state, Bhubaneshwar is commonly called as the city of temples due to its innumerous temples. One of the four sacred pilgrimage centers of India, Puri, also known as Jagannath Puri, is situated in Orissa. The world famous ancient world heritage Sun temple of Konark is also situated in Orissa and all these temples celebrate many occasions in their own special way. Magha Sapatami is the most popular and colourful festival of the temple city of Konark. This is an occasion for a grand congregating of Indian pilgrims who take holy dips in the Chandrabhaga Tirtha near the sea and welcome the rising Sun with prayers. This festival falls around end of February. December brings in a host of cultural festivals all over India and the Konark Dance Festival is the most looked forward to. The beautiful ancient temple forms a fantastic backdrop to various classical dance performances and is the true ode to the form of worship which was once meticulously followed in the India temples. The carved figures in the temple come alive with the performances and create a magnificent ambience for the whole festival.
Jagannath Puri is one of the four sacred pilgrimages of India. The Rath Yatra that takes place here every June -July is the most famous religious occasion. The three deities Lord Jagannath, Balbhadra, his brother and Subhadra, his sister are taken in a chariot procession to their summer temple for a week. Prior to this, the three deities have a ritual boat ride after a refreshing bath in fragrant sandalwood scented water. This is followed by Snana Yatra, literally the festival of bathing in which the main images are bathed ceremoniously. The deities then retire to their garden home and after eight days, they return to the main temple riding their magnificent chariots, drawn by devotees. Hundreds of thousands gather from all over the country to witness this festival. New chariots are made each year. During the festival Puri turns into a sea of People. The idols made of wood are buried in the temple complex and new ones are made every twelve years. All can participate in this festival and actually touch the deity to take the blessings.