The divine marriage of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, better known as Sital Sasthi festival, was solemnised in Sambalpur in the wee hours of Thursday.
Hundreds of people from different parts of western Odisha and from neighbouring areas participated in the historic marriage which was observed with pomp and gaiety.
In the late hours of Wednesday night, processions of Lord Shiva’s entourage started from several Shiva temples in the town for the bride’s houses. Decorated with gold and silver ornaments, Lord Shiva’s idols were seated in the lavishly decorated palanquins. Then amidst sounds of traditional drums, folk dance and, of course, modern dance, the processions were taken out through the town before culminating at their respective bride’s residences.
At the brides’ residences, the brides’ parents and the invited guests welcomed Lord Shiva and took Him to the marriage altar. Later, the divine marriage of Lord Shiva and Parvati was solemnised as per the tradition.
Today is the ‘Jugal Darshan’ of the newly married couple. In fact, the homecoming of the couple is known as ‘Jugal Darshan’.
“The entire Sambalpur town is soaked in festive mood. At different padas including Jhaduapada and Thakurpada, the festival is being observed peacefully. We hope the festival will end without any law and order situation,” said Sambalpur district Collector Ananya Das.
Echoing the same, Sambalpur SP B Gangadhar said, “I extend my best wishes to all on this auspicious occasion of Sital Sasthi. The festival is being observed peacefully.”
The main attraction of yesterday’s procession was ‘Aghori Dance’, which was presented by the artistes invited from other states. The artistes in Lord Shiva’s get-up danced to the tunes of the traditional beats, charging up the festivity mood. This apart, the processions taken out from different padas exhibited Odisha’s rich art and culture.
At the same time, the marriage of Lord Lingaraj was also solemnised in Bhubaneswar. After having been decorated with ornaments, the representative idol of Lord Lingraja was seated in a beautifully decorated palanquin and the procession marched towards Kedargouri temple. There the Lord and the entourage members were welcomed. Later, a ritual known as ‘Bata Barani’ was observed. Then the marriage of the divine couple was held as per the tradition.