This year in 2017, Samba Dashami will be celebrated on 8th January (Sunday).
Samba Dashami is a unique ritual observed in the Paush month in Odisha as per traditional Oriya calendar. On this day, mothers observe special puja and rituals dedicated to Lord Surya for the good health and long life of their children. The story of Samba Dasami is associated with Samba, the son of Lord Krishna.
Legends say that – Samba, the son of Lord Krishna, was afflicted by leprosy and he was cured by Surya (the Sun God), after 12 years of penance near Konark. So on this day, all mothers pray to Sun God to keep their kids healthy.
Samba Dasami is observed on the 10th day during the Shukla Paksha or waxing phase of moon in Pausha month (December – January). Special dishes are prepared on the day. The dishes are first offered to Lord Surya and is later shared by the children.
On this day, female folks of the family wake up early in the morning before sun rise. After bathing, they prepare variety of food items like, Khichdi, Oriya Puli, Ghadghadia Tarkari (a curry item) and offer them to Sun God during sun rise.
One of the specific characters of this ritual is variety of individual food item is offered to Sun God in the name of each member of the family. After that female folks of the families go on preparing variety of Pitha (Cake) like – Manda Pitha, Kakara Pitha, Arisha Pitha, Biri Laddoo and other items like Makar Chaula, Chhena Guda, Dhanu Muaan; sweet dishes like Khiri, Rasagola, Jhilli, Chhenagaja, Sweet Curd etc. all over the day.
In the noon time, a bowl of turmeric water with a beetle in it is taken to ‘Chaunra Mula’ (a small temple like structure with a Tulsi plant overhead). All the cooked foods are served in plates. Then female heads of the family see the face of Sun God through the bowl of turmeric water and offer all the cuisine to the God.
They read the legend of Samba Dasami Brata Katha and pray for the well-being of the whole family members. In the late night or evening, another puja is observed as a part of Samba Dashami ritual. This is known as ‘Mahakala Puja’. Special Budha Chakuli is offered to Yama.