Odisha: Married women of Dera community observe this unique puja in Ganjam: Watch

Berhampur: In Odisha we witness unity in diversity. People from a number of caste, community and sect live here. They observe their very own rituals, festivals and worships. One such event was witnessed recently in Ganjam district of Odisha where the married women from the Dera community observed a special worship at their respective father’s place. Importantly, this time the Dera puja was observed in Ganjam long after 17 years.

As per reports, the married women of Dera community should at least once donate fruits at their father’s place as per their tradition. For this, they visit their respective father’s place from their in-laws’ house.

Dera puja was organised recently in Padmanavpur in Digapahandi block of Ganjam after long 17 years. Many married women flocked here from there in-law’s house to participate in the three days long massive worship.

As per the tradition the women worn new clothes and participated in the worship. Incense sticks were burnt; lamps were lighted and 8 varieties of fruits along with white pumpkin were placed at the worship place. The puja was held amid chanting of hymns by the priest.

Dera puja is observed on the 10th, 11th and 12th tithi in the holy month of Kartika. A married woman must observe this puja at least once in her lifetime after marriage. On the first day of the three day worship the fruits are worshipped, on the second day the Salipindi is worshipped and on the third day the fruits are donated to Brahmins.

The three day Dera puja includes not only puja rituals but many more events. The women also participate in a procession that crosses the roads and lanes of the area amid music to reach the pond where they also perform some rituals. After returning from there, they participate in various games such as music chair. There is no practice of dowry in Dera community. Hence, families invite their married daughters who donate golden fruits to the Brahmins, say senior people of the community.

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