Samba Dashami

Time: 10th day of the Sukla Paksha of Pausha Masa ( November-December )
Description : Samba Dashami is a unique festival of the state. It is celebrated on the 10th day of the Sukla Paksha of Pausha Masa. Shamba Dasami is the day, which is dedicated to the worship of the Sun God.

This auspicious day on the Pausasuklapakshya dasami is dedicated to the primordial deity responsible for human existence, the God of light,Sun. Sun-God is venerated as the all-powerful lord in whose reverence the famous Konark temple was built. As part of the ritualistic practice, the ladies offer fruits and sweets in the twilight hour, sweetened dalrice and vegetables at midday and fried cakes and milk porridge at sunset, to the Sun-god and pray for the well-being of their family. The elderly women who propitiate the Sun God to keep their children free from all diseases mostly observe this festival. Those who are childless also pray for childern. On this day, the Sun God is invoked thrice. Once in the morning, then at mid-day and lastly in the evening, before the sun sets.

On the day of Samba Dashami, the women in the family wake before sunrise. After bathing they prepare dishes such as Khichdi, Oriya Puli, and Ghadghadia Tarkari (a curry), and offer them to the Sun God at sunrise. Each prepared food item is offered in the name of each family member. Once the food items have been offered to the Surya, the women prepare a set of cake-like dishes called Pitha, which include Manda Pitha, Kakara Pitha, Arisha Pitha, BiriLaddoo, Makar Chaula,Chhenaguda, Dhanu Muaan, Khiri, Rasagola, Jhilli, Chhenagaja, and Sweet Curd.

At noon, a bowl of turmeric water with betel in it is taken to ‘chaunra mula’ (a small temple-like structure with a Tulsi plant overhead). All the cooked food is served on plates. The women in the family view the Sun God through the bowl of turmeric water and offer all the dishes to the Sun God. They read the legend of ‘Samba Dasami Brata Katha’ and pray for the well-being of all family members.According to legend, Samba, son of Lord Krishna, was afflicted by leprosy and was cured by the Sun God Surya after 12 years of penance near Konark. On this day, mothers pray to Surya for the health of their children.

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