Mrunal Manmay Dash

The people in Odisha are having a gala time as they celebrate the most-awaited Dola Purnima festival on Monday.

Dola Purnima or full-moon day is celebrated in the month of Falguna. Amid the procession of deities in ‘Vimana’ or palanquin and smearing of ‘Abira’-a violet coloured powder, people usually enjoy the festival in every nook and corner of the State.

As per tradition, Lord Narayan will circumambulate in the Dola Biman and eat bhog from the devotees today. On this occasion, Lakshmi Narayan will smear each other with ‘phagu’. After the meeting of Lakshmi Narayan, people will play Holi as per the traditional rituals tomorrow in Odisha.

In Puri, the Dola Gobinda and Bhu Devi as representatives of the Holy Trinity of the Srimandir orbited the sanctum sanctorum of the temple. Devotees smeared ‘phagu’ at the deities and celebrated the Dola Purnima festival with great enthusiasm.

Meanwhile, people celebrated ‘Holika Dahan’ with great pomp and show in the country's capital Delhi.

As per legend, Prahallad, the supreme devotee of Lord Narayan, was tried to be killed by the sister of King Hiranyakashyap by burning him with fire on this day.

Hiranyakashyap's sister, Holika had a boon that fire couldn’t burn her. So, the demon king asked his sister to take Prahalad in her lap and sit on a fire mound so that Prahalad would be burnt and killed.

However, nothing actually happened to Prahallad. Instead, Holika herself was burnt to ashes in the fire.

In keeping with that tradition, the effigy of Holika is burnt before Holi every year to mark the victory of good over evil.