Pradeep Pattanayak

The confusion over the dates of the celebration of Pana Sankranti, the Odia New Year, came to an end with the Mukti Mandap of Srimandir putting its seal on April 14. 

There had been confusion over the date of Pana Sankranti. While some almanac makers were of the view that Pana Sankranti is on April 13, some others were claiming it to be on April 14. 

However, putting all confusion to rest, the Mukti Mandap, the committee of the scholars in Puri Srimandir, on Monday put its seal on April 14, the day when Pana Sankranti will be celebrated across the state. 

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“The Srimandir Mukti Mandap Council has finalised that Pana Sankranti will be observed on April 14,” said Prafulla Mishra, secretary of Mukti Mandap. 

Notably, ‘Pana Sankranti’, also known as Maha Bishuba Sankranti, occurs on the first day of the traditional solar month of Mesha. It is also observed as Odia New Year and Hanuman Jayanti or Lord Hanuman’s birthday across the state with religious fervour and gaiety. As the name of the festival suggests, a kind of pana bhoga, a sweet drink, is prepared and offered in every household on this day. Pulp of bela (wood apple), nadia kora (coconut gratings) chhena (cottage cheese), and other items go into the preparation of the drink. Pana is considered to be one of the healthy and better options to neutralise the wrath of summer.

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