‘Danda Nata’ fest underway in Ganjam

Berhampur: The 21-day seasonal folk dance festival ‘Danda Nata’ is underway in the villages and towns of Ganjam district.

The festival, which marks the worship of Shiva and Shakti, comes at the end of long walks which devotees undertake as a form of penance.

Thousands of participants of various sections of the society, known as ‘dandua’, practise austerity measures during the festival which will conclude on April 14.

The festival features midday summer dances in the dust and that in the ponds in the evening, besides midnight walk on fire by the ‘danduas’.

The dancers feel that the purpose of the dance is to mitigate the sorrow of those who invite them to perform. “We perform the dance for the welfare of the host and the removal of his miseries,” said Santosh Pradhan, a ‘dandua’. PTI COR SKN PR

Saffron-clad people of all age groups rolling on the ground while their compatriots sing to the rhythm of drums is a familiar sight in most parts of Odisha’s Ganjam district at this time.