Odisha celebrated ‘Maha Vishuva Sankranti’ or ‘Pana Sankranti’, which also marks the ‘Odia New Year’, with great fanfare throughout the state yesterday.
Pana glasses were clinked to usher in the festivities the festival. In Bhubaneswar and Cuttack, stalls were set up in different areas to distribute the natural drink to mark the arrival of the ‘Odia Naba Barsha’.
The birthday of Lord Hanuman was also observed across the state with several organisations holding religious ceremonies with the continuous chanting of Hanuman Chalisa.
The day also marks the introduction of new Panjika, which is an almanac of Hindu religious festivals, timings and predictions for the year. It is prepared as per solar calendar and incorporates the auspicious dates, times, the sun rise and sunset time, the starts and their movements etc from Mesha Sankranti till Mina Sankranti.
In southern and west Odisha, goddesses were invoked on the occasion of the ongoing Danda Yatra, Jhamu Jatra, Meru Jatra and Chaiti Parba festivals, where devotees perform challenging stunts to fulfil their vows.
In Berhampur, where the Thakurani Jatra is under way, goddess Budhi Thakurani was offered Pana and palm leaf fans. In Jagatsinghpur, the famous site of Goddess Sarala was thronged by devotees on the occasion of the Maha Vishuva Sankranti for special festivities.
Members of the Sikh community turned up at gurdwaras across the state to celebrate Baisakhi.
Celebrations and wishing went online too. Popular networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp are flooded with messages, greetings and wishes written in Odia.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also wished the people of Odisha through Twitter. He tweeted, “Wishing all my Odia sisters and brothers on Maha Vishuva Sankranti. I pray for a wonderful year ahead, full of prosperity and joy.”