Odisha celebrates Samba Dashami with religious solemnity

Bhubaneswar: Holy ‘Samba Dashami’ is being celebrated today all over by Odias. This festival is unique to Odisha and is celebrated on 10th day of the Sukla Paksha of Pausha Masa. Women do the puja of Sun God Surya for well-being of their children.

As per the legend, ‘Samba’, son of Lord Krishna was suffering from leprosy. It was cured by the Sun God after 12 years of penance near Konark. Hence, the Odia mothers also follow the ritual of praying to the Sun God on ‘Samba Dashami’ to keep their kids hearty and healthy.

On the day of ‘Samba Dashami’, pious women wake up before sunrise and prepare traditional dishes like Khichdi, Oriya Puri, and Ghadghadia Tarkari (a curry), and offer them to the Sun God at sunrise. Once the food items have been offered to the Surya, the women prepare a set of cake-like dishes called Pitha (cake), which includes Manda Pitha, Kakara Pitha, Poda Pitha, Arisha Pitha, Biri Laddoo, Makar Chaula, Chhenaguda, Dhanu Muaan, Khiri, Rasagola, Jhilli, Chhenagaja, and Sweet Curd. Most importantly, separate delicacies are offered for each child.

At noon, a bowl of turmeric water with betel in it is taken to ‘chaunra mula’. All the cooked food is served on plates. The women in the family view the Sun God through the bowl of turmeric water and offer all the dishes to him. They read the legend of ‘Samba Dasami Brata Katha’ and pray for the well-being of all family members; especially the children of the household.

In the evening, another ritual is observed as a part of the ‘Samba Dasami’ ritual. This is ‘Mahakala Puja’, in which special Budha Chakuli is offered to Lord Yama.

The holy ‘Samba Dashami’ is fervently undertaken by women of Eastern Odisha with all the devotion.

Devotees were seen thronging to Konark to take a holy dip and offer prayers to the Sun God.

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