Suryakant Jena

Kumar Purnima, one of the most important festivals of Odisha is celebrated every year on the full moon day of Ashwin month. 

The day is celebrated as per the long-followed tradition of young women performing religious rites seeking ideal life partners and a bright future.

The festival is dedicated to Lord Kartikeya, son of Lord Shiva, considered as the most attractive among the Devas. Young girls on this day worship to the almighty praying to get life partner like Lord Kartikeya. Newly brides also offer their obeisance to the God praying for the well-being of their families and good future.  

The day also coincides with the Gajalaxmi Puja, the day to adulate the Goddess of wealth. 

The rituals

All the rites observed by the young girls on this day are dedicated to Lord Surya and Chandra. Maidens purify, dress in new clothes and offer food to Sun God in the wee hours of the day. They keep fasting all day long and break the fast after offering puja to Lord Chandra during moonrise in the evening. Girls rejoice with a variety of games on this special occasion like 'Puchi Khela'.

During this day, families prepare ‘Chanda chakata’, a delicacy made up from khaee (puffed white rice), jaggery, banana, coconut, ginger, ghee, honey and milk. Girls prepare a mash from all these ingredients and lay it on a winnowing fan in the shape of a crescent moon which is then offered to the moon. Thereafter it is then rolled into fistfuls of balls which are partaken by all the family members with delight.

Kumar Utsav, celebration of youth festivals, music and dance are held across Odisha on this day. Kumar Purnima marks the end of Ashwin and a day after it marks the beginning of the holiest month, Kartik.

Special rituals are also observed at Puri Srimandir on this day.

Similarly, the Rajarajeswar Besha of Goddess Samaleswari is also celebrated in Sambalpur on this day. The change of flag ceremony (dhwajarohan) is held at the temple on the occasion.

As per temple sources, the Rajarajeswar of the Goddess will be held in the afternoon today. Public darshan will remain restricted from 3 to 4.30 pm for the decoration of the Goddess called the Besha. Devotees will be allowed to have darshan of the bedecked Goddess inside the temple from 4.30 pm onwards. Entry of devotees will also be barred into the temple from 7.30 pm to 9.30 pm due to the flag-changing ceremony. Darshan will resume thereafter and continue till 11 pm.


People from all walks of life expressed their wishes on Kumar Purnima. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik took to Twitter to wish people of Odisha on the special occasion. 

BJP National Vice President Jay Panda also offered his hearty wishes on the Kumar Purnima.