On Sunday (14 April 2013), the reason for celebrating with pana will be the Odia New Year observed on Maha Bishuba Sankranti better known as Pana Sankranti. Another significance of the occasion is the birthday of Lord Hanuman.
From mythological and religious significance to social and cultural importance, the Odia New Year is believed to be one of the major celebrations of the state. Preparations are on in full flow to grandly observe the occasion.
Among major highlights of the festival is the release of the new Odia Panji for the Hindu year. The Panji is collected by Odias to organise auspicious events in the family or follow religious festivals on the right dates.
Preparation and free distribution of pana has also been ensured at most temples.
Bela Pana prepared from a blend of fruits, water, milk, pulp of bela (stone apple), curd and sugar is the most common variety of pana and is offered to deities and distributed among friends. It is also prepared at home on the Pana Sankranti.
Another special variety of this drink, Amba Pana, is prepared from mango pulp and is offered to Lord Jagannath. Devotees of Lord Shiv also bathe the Shiv Ling with pana during the festival.