Vishwakarma Puja is an important festival in Orissa. September 16 or 17 every year is celebrated as Biswakarma Puja — a resolution time for workers and craftsmen to increase productivity and gain divine inspiration for creating novel products. This ritual usually takes place within the factory premises or shop floor, and the otherwise mundane workshops come alive with fiesta.
Majority of the Hindu festivals are not celebrated on a constant date because most auspicious days and festivals depend on the lunar calendar and on tithi – lunar day, which changes annually. But majority of times Vishwakarma puja falls on September 17 (very rarely it might vary by a day). This year in 2012, the festival will be celebrated today on 16 September in Orissa and also tomorrow in some parts.
In Hindu Mythology, Bishwakarma is the divine architect of the universe. He is also called the divine carpenter and is mentioned in the Rigveda and is credited with Sthapatya Veda, the science of mechanics and architecture.
The Lord on the back of his appurtenance (bahana), the elephant, holds in his four hands, a water-pot, the Vedas, a noose and craftsman’s tools. Rituals are followed by the distribution of “prasad”. The yearly feast is cooked, where the workmen and the owners lunch together.
Biswakarma is referred to the old carpenter who came from nowhere and persuaded king Indradyumna to allow him to make the idol of Jagannath out of the “Daru” or sandalwood log. On tenth day of complete isolation however at the behest of the queen Gundicha the doors are opened ajar and the half-made idols were found in the sanctum – sanctorium. From those days this festival is associated with installing the idol of Vishwakarma and worshipping him to protect the business interests and trading.