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Girls of Odisha celebrate Kumar Purnima

Young girls of Odisha are gearing up to look their best and seek blessings of the Moon God on Kumar Purnima festival that is today on 18th October 2013.

It is believed that unmarried girls get a good life partner if they perform these rituals.

Celebrated on the last day of the Ashwin month, the Kumar Purnima festival is the occasion to observe the birthday of Lord Kartikeswara, the son of Lord Shiv and Goddess Parvati.

In the early morning, the girls after their purificatory bath wear new garments and make food-offerings to the sun. They observe fasting for the day. In the evening when the moon rises they again make food offerings of a special variety and take it after the rituals are over.

A crescent shaped food item Chanda is prepared out of bananas, cottage cheese, grated coconut and flowers and this is offered to the full moon in the evening.

An array of delicious country cakes or pithas is prepared at home and the floors of the verandah as well as backyard and the entrance of the house are decorated with design patterns created with the help of rice paste.

It is a festival of rejoicing for the girls. All of them sing and dance. The songs are of special nature. They also play a kind of game known as Puchi. They also indulge in other varieties of country-games.
Kumar Purnima 2013
The full moon day (purnima) also marks the beginning of the 11-day Gajalaxmi Puja that is celebrated across the state.

Bhubaneswar and Dhenkanal are going to celebrate Gajalaxmi Puja. While every year the festival is a grand affair with lavish pandals and huge idols and decoration, this year, considering the devastation caused by Phailin, the organisers are keeping it a low-key affair.

Kendrapada, which is also known for Gajalaxmi Puja, is severely affected by floods and hence very few idols will be set up this year.

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