Devotees throng Srimandir on Paush Purnima, West Odisha celebrates Pushpuni

Puri: A large number of devotees thronged Puri Srimandir on Monday to offer special prayers and witness the ‘Rajadhiraj Besha’ or ‘Suna Besha’ of Lord Jagannath and His siblings on the auspicious occasion of Paush Purnima. Decked up in gold jewellery embellished with diamond and gems, it is believed that a glimpse of the divine siblings on the Ratna Sinhasan today brings prosperity and goodwill.

As per mythology, Lord Rama took over the throne in Ayodhya today after 14 years of exile and therefore Lord Jagannath is decked up in king attire to mark the day. Paush Purnima is a significant day for Hindus which falls on the full moon day of Paush in the Hindu calendar.

In the morning, Mangala Alati, Mailam, Tadap Lagi, Abakash Niti, Gopal Ballav, Shakala Dhupa rituals were conducted following which Jala Lagi and Sarbanga were performed and the Lords were decked up in the golden attires.

Meanwhile in Western Odisha, people celebrated agrarian festival ‘Pushpuni’ today. The festival also has significance in farming community as the farmers celebrate their paddy harvest.

Almost all the households were filled with the aroma of sweets, peethas and non-vegetarian dishes on Pushpuni. There is also an age-old tradition of youths going around the villages in groups dancing, singing folk songs and asking for ‘Chher Chhera’.

“We wait the entire year for this day. As per tradion, we go around the villages and ask for Pushpuni and people offer money, sweets, peethas, paddy and other items as Pushpuni,” said an artist.

In Koraput, the Paraja tribals observed Pusha Parab today by offering food cooked with newly harvested crops to the cattle as a mark of solidarity to the animals for helping them in agriculture activities.

“We celebrate the Pusha Parab as our new year. We cook food from our newly harvested crops and offer those to the cattles. We also celebrate the festival by exchanging sweets and peethas with our friends and family members,” said a Paraja tribal man.

Similarly, scores of devotees took a holy dip ‘Sangam’— the confluence of rivers Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati in Prayagraj today on the occasion of Paush Purnima which marks the second auspicious bathing day of the Kumbh Mela.