Himansu Shekhar Rout

Byanjana Dwadashi, a special festival for Lord Sri Krishna, was celebrated with traditional gaiety and fervour at the pilgrim city of Puri on Sunday. On the occasion, over 850 traditional dishes were prepared and served to the Lord at mutts and temples.

The name of the festival ‘Byanjana’ in Odia means a variety of food while Dwadashi refers to the 12th day (Dwadashi) of the Sukla Paksha or waxing phase of the moon in the month of Margashira (from mid-December to mid-January). This festival has a lot to do with our traditional system of giving importance to nutrition for human health. 

As per reports, 851 types of dishes including a variety of cakes, dal, curries, saag (fried green leaves), kheer, desserts, rice, khata(sour dishes), and muan were served to Sri Krishna at Mata Mutt, that belong to the Goudiya community (Vaishnavites). Such a huge number of dishes are in fact a gourmet’s delight. 

Subal Charan Das Maharaj, the Mahant of the mutt, said that the Byanjana Dwadashi is an age-old tradition followed by this mutt. “Over 851 varieties of dishes have been prepared. In the long menu, there are about 21 types of rice and 17 types of dal. Mother Jasoda had prepared a variety of cuisines for her son Lord Sri Krishna. As a part of this festival, devotees from various parts of the state wearing new clothes prepared a number of dishes in the wee hours,” he observed.

Hundreds of devotees had the delight of partaking of the prasad at the mutt.     

It is believed that the festival dates back to the Mahabharata era. Usually, Vaishnavites celebrate the festival to perpetuate the memory of an episode as explained in the Mahabharata wherein Yashoda is concerned to find her son Krishna looking pale and weak. She realises that lack of proper nutrition is the reason for his frail constitution.

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