Kartika Purnima

Time: October to November (Karthika Month)
Description : The month of 'Kartika' is considered to be the most sacred among all the twelve months of the year. During this month all the pious Hindus refrain from eating fish, meat or egg. The last five days are considered more sacred, in which there is wide participation. Taken together the days are called 'Panchaka', the last day being the "Kartika Purnima". For all the five days the women after purificatory bath in the early morning draw beautiful flower-designs around the 'chaura' (a small temple like structure with a 'Tulsi' plant overhead) with colour powders produced indigenously. Fasting for the day is commonly observed. Most of the Shiva temples get crowded with devotees offering prayers to Lord Shiva who is said to have killed the demon 'Tripurasura' on this day.

Another festival that takes place in the morning is significant to the ancient history of Odisha. This reminds the maritime glory of the State. In olden days the Sadhabas (Sea traders) used to sail off to distant islands like Java, Sumatra, Borneo, Ceylon etc. for their trade by huge boats (Boita). The women of the community were giving them a hearty send off on this day. The days are now gone, but the memory is still alive. Now, people float tiny boats made out of cork and coloured paper or bark of the banyan tree while reminiscing the past glory. This is called 'Boita Bandana'.

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