Kumar Utsav, an annual cultural festival, will be celebrated on 29th October, 2012 all over Orissa. Kumar Purnima is one of the most popular and important festival of Orissa. On the full moon day after Dusshera, Kumar Purnima is celebrated by all the unmarried girls & newly married brides in the state. It is believed that girls worship Lord Kartikeya to get grooms as handsome as him.
“Chudaghasa” a scented mixture of puffed rice and coconut is offered as Prasad. Interestingly, the moon and Kartikya are also worshipped on this festival. Unmarried children of the family wear new clothes, play a game called ” Puchi” accompanied by folk songs, eat only fruits, puffed rice, coconut by looking at the moon in the sky, perform “Janhi Puja” at the Tulsi installed in their courtyard and spent the day with extreme joyous spirit.
In the early morning, the girls after their 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. It is a festival of rejoicing for the girls. All of them sing and dance. The songs are of special meant for the occasion (Kuaanra Punei Jahna Go Phula Baula Beni). They also play a kind of game known as ‘Puchi’ and also involve themselves in other varieties of country-games.
This day is also observed as the birth day of Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth. Therefore, many people worship the Goddess at their homes and keep themselves awake by playing Pasha (Chess), and other indoor games. Significantly, it suggests that those who wish to acquire wealth should always be vigilant at night. It is for this reason the owl, the bird which sleeps in the day and comes out only at night.