Odisha celebrates Kartika Purnima with great religious fervor amid Covid guidelines

Bhubaneswar: Kartika Purnima (Boita Bandana) is celebrated on the full moon of the Kartika month where people across the State head for the nearest water body to set afloat tiny banana, paper or thermocol boats with diyas, betel leaves, crackers, fruits and coins. However, this year also the celebration has been restricted by the government due to the ongoing Covid pandemic.

Reportedly, Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) banned the celebrations under its jurisdiction for this year and issued a special guideline.

“Congregation of large number of citizens during Kartika Purnima/Bada Osha Festival on November 19, 2021 at Bindusagar Lake, river ghats and other water bodies or at any public location within BMC area is prohibited,” said the guideline issued by the BMC. The devotees have been restricted to visit temples. Hence, people have celebrated this festival at respective homes by creating mini immersion ponds.

Similarly, Puri Srimandir will also remain closed for devotees on the occasion of Kartika Purnima today in order to prevent huge congregations amid the pandemic.

It is to be noted that police teams have been deployed at various places to restrict the congregation of people.

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.

Also read: BMC issues special guideline for Kartika Purnima 2021, check details

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