Sambalpur: The historic Sital Sasthi festival of Sambalpur is being celebrated after a gap of two years, from across Odisha as well as neighbouring states, a conglomeration of thousands of artistes are performing at the cultural extravaganza.
In the wake of Covid 19 pandemic, the festival was a low key affair for the last two consecutive years. However, this year, the Nandapara, Jhaduapada and Mudipada Sital Sasthi Yatra committees have earmarked of more than Rs 1 crore for the festival.
Last two years only the rituals of the festival were performed without the devotees. Now, after the normalcy in COVID-19, all the events of Sital Sasthi are taking place in a colourful atmosphere.
After a long two years, a procession of devotees gets onto the streets of Sambalpur. When the procession of Lord Mahadev arrives at the doorway of the house of Goddess Parvati, the Lord’s human father-in-law comes to welcome him.
The groom, groom’s father, the saptrishi and the elders are welcomed by the divine bride’s family.
As per the ritual, the bridegroom Lord Shiva agreed to the marriage after the Saptrishi sang the praises of Baba Balunkeshwar. According to tradition, the Lord Mahadev’s father preferred the bride-to-be to receive the sal leaf bouquet and set the wedding date.
After the finalisation of wedding, the bride’s family feels to be on cloud nine and dances with a wave of joy. The girl’s father gets overwhelmed to have Devadev Mahadev as his son-in-law.
Sital Sasthi is the festival in which Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati are adopted by two families and their wedding is solemnised with performance of rituals. And later they return to the temple in a procession.
From a historical period, Sambalpur is celebrating Sital Sasthi with big joys. Everyone is super excited to see the divine wedding and the newlywed couple idols.
Devotees flock from many cities to witness the massive festival. Everyone is happy to see the marriage of Lord Shiva Shankara and Devi Parvati. Thousands of people in and out of the district are waiting to see the homecoming procession of the divine couple to their temple, which witnesses footfall of lakhs of devotees.