Cuttack/Bhubaneswar: Kartika Purnima, the full-moon day of the holy month of Kartika, was celebrated with religious fervour across the State today. People from different walks of life floated miniature boats in ponds, rivers and other water bodies to celebrate 'Boita Bandana' ritual, remembering the State's maritime history.

People thronged river Mahanadi and Kathajodi ghats and also went to Taladanda canal on the occasion to celebrate floating of paper boat ritual. While in Bhubaneswar, many people went to the banks of Bindusagar tank and floated tiny boats and offered puja at Lingaraj Temple, a large number of devotees visited Srimandir to witness the Rajarajeswara besha of the holy Trinity.

The Boita Bandana celebrations were also held in Paradip, Gopalpur and other parts of the state.

During ancient times, sea traders known as ‘sadhabas’, used to begin their sea voyages on the full moon day of Kartika month of the Hindu calendar to foreign shores like Bali, Sumatra and Java.

Meanwhile, Bali Yatra, the 10-day trade fair in the State organised to commemorate the sea voyages, will be inaugurated today evening on the banks of Mahanadi river.

Sources said more than 1,300 stalls including 350 kiosks selling a wide range of ethnic handlooms and other products of various self-help groups have been set up on the 44-acre land earmarked for the purpose. The Cuttack district administration will deploy 32 platoons of police force to maintain law and order during the yatra.