Pana Sankranti

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Pana Sankranti
Bela pana.jpg
Also called Maha Vishuva Sankranti
Observed by Odia people
Significance New Year in sidereal and tropical astrology
Celebrations Meru Yatra, Jhaamu Yatra, Chadak Parva
Observances Pujas, processions, eating sattu and Bela Pana
Date

Pana Sankranti (Odia: ପଣା ସଂକ୍ରାନ୍ତି), also known as Mesha Sankranti, is a holiday celebrated as the Odia New Year.[1][2][3][4]

On this day, the sun enters the zodiac sign of Aries or Mesha Rashi, which marks the beginning of the New Year in the traditional Odia calendar. The date is calculated according to sidereal and tropical astrology, but generally falls on the 14th or 15th of April. This is also an important day for farming and agriculture in this area.

Pana Sankranti is similar to New Year festivals observed elsewhere in India, such as Vaisakhi (Punjab region), Bihu (Assam), Maithili New Year, Pohela Boishakh (Bengal), Bisu Parba (Tulu Nadu), Vishu (Kerala) and Puthandu (Tamil Nadu).[5]

Observances[edit]

Basundhara theki (a small pot) used on Maha Vishuva Sankranti

On Pana Sandranti, a small pot filled with pana, a sweet drink of misri and water, is hung over a tulsi plant. A hole at the bottom of the pot allows the liquid to fall from the pot, representing rain. Chhatua, a flour made from lentils and grains, is eaten along with banana and curd, after offering it to the Tulsi.[6] Special offerings are made to shaligrams (symbol of the god, Vishnu), linga (symbol of the god, Shiva), Hanuman (a Hindu god), and other deities.

Pilgrims visit Devi temples during this holiday and celebrate festivals that vary according to the region. The temples include Taratarini Temple near Brahmapur, Odisha in Ganjam, Cuttack Chandi, Biraja Temple, Samaleswari temple and Sarala Temple. At Sarala Temple the priests walk on hot coals in the fire-walking festival, Jhaamu Yatra. At the Maa Patana Mangala Temple in Chhatrapada, Bhadrak, the Patua Yatra festival is held from 14 April to 21 April. In Northern Odisha, the festival is known as Chadak Parva. In Southern Odisha, the Meru Yatra festival is celebrated as the end of the month-long Danda nata dance festival. Thousands of devotees gather at the Shakti Pitha shrine in the Taratarini Temple because it is one of the auspicious days during the Chaitra Yatra. People from all over the state worship Hanuman on this day and celebrate it as his birthday, eating chhatua and Bel Pana to mark the occasion.

Main festival[edit]

Various communities like Punjabis, Keralites, Tamilians, Odias, Bengalis and Assamese celebrate New Year with rituals and events. For the Sikh community, religious rituals are held mostly in Gurudwaras where the entire community comes together. The Tamils celebrate New Year as Vaushapirapu or Puthandu as they call it. The day is dedicated to visiting the temple, reading and worshipping of Panchang and performing aarti. Vishu celebrations are more on a personal note in Malayali homes. The Odia families in the city gather at their community hall in Kukdey Layout during these celebrations.[7]

Main article: Danda nata
The Worshiped deity, Kali in Danda Nacha celebrated in Odisha

Danda nata or Danda Jatra is a tribal way of welcoming the New Year which begins with the month of Vaishakh. Danda Jatra is one of the most ancient forms of performance art in the state. The opening ritual begins in the middle of Chaitra (March - April).[8] Danda Nacha is dedicated to Goddess Kali, and is a group spiritual event which invokes the blessings of Goddess Kali and Lord Shiva.[9] Participants avoid eating meat, fish, onion and garlic during the festival. People believe that participation in Danda Nacha will lead to a reduction in sin and bad events in life, and an increase in plentiful harvests and peace. Danda Nacha lasts for 13 days, and Pana Sankranti begins at the end of the 13th day.[10][dead link]

Related holidays in other cultures[edit]

Pana Sandranti coincides with the New Year in many other Southern Asian calendars, including:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nab Kishore Behura (1978). Peasant potters of Odisha: a sociological study. Visuba Sankranti in Odisha. Sterling. p. 252. Retrieved 13 April 2012. 
  2. ^ Maha Vishuba Sankranti Odisha celebrates Maha Vishuba Sankranti with Fervor
  3. ^ Classic Cooking of Orissa. Danda Nata. Allied Publishers. pp. 26–. ISBN 978-81-8424-584-4. Retrieved 13 April 2012. 
  4. ^ Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (1995). Prakr̥ti: Primal elements, the oral tradition. Meru Day, Meru Sankranti. Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts. p. 172. ISBN 978-81-246-0037-5. Retrieved 13 April 2012. 
  5. ^ Kalyan Kumar Dasgupta; P. K. Mishra (1996). Aspects of Indian history and historiography: Professor Kalyan Kumar Dasgupta felicitation volume. World wise "vishuba sankranti". Kaveri Books. p. 111. ISBN 978-81-7479-009-5. Retrieved 13 April 2012. 
  6. ^ Odia new year. Hindu-blog. com (2007-06-06). Retrieved on 2011-11-10.
  7. ^ "Various communities to celebrate New Year on April 14, 15 - Times of India". Retrieved 9 June 2016. 
  8. ^ "Danda Nacha". orissadiary.com. 2012. Retrieved 13 April 2012. Danda Nacha 
  9. ^ Āśutosha Bhaṭṭācārya (1977). The sun and the serpent lore of Bengal. Visuba Sankaratni and Meru Sankranti are same. Firma KLM. p. 80. Retrieved 13 April 2012. 
  10. ^ Meru Sankranti .

Further reading[edit]