‘Kumar Purnima’, a festival is observed on a full-moon day in the month of October-November in Odisha and is celebrated as the birthday of goddess Laxmi. In this festival, young girls perform traditional rituals praying for a perfect life partner like Kumar or Kartikeya, who is termed as the most handsome among all the Gods.
Morning ‘ Anjuli Tekka’ – The ritual began in the early morning when girls wake up before sunrise, bathe and get dressed and offer ‘Anjuli’ (Palmful) to the rising sun near ‘Brundabati’ or in front of Tulsi plant. The ‘Anjula’ includes ‘Kahi’, ‘Janhi’, ‘cucumber’, ‘Banana’, ‘coconut’ ‘Sugarcane’ flowers and Betal nut. The palmful is usually done for seven times to the rising sun. Usually, in villages, girls visit each other’s house and play throughout the day.
Evening ‘Chanda Puja’ – It’s not compulsory to fast for the girls, but they are asked not to eat non-veg and to consume pure vegetarian dishes. In the evening girls gets ready with their new dresses. After that, they make Prasad which will be an offer to the Moon, which is known as ‘Chanda Chakata’ ( Prasad in the shape of the Moon). The Prasad is made of ‘Khai’ banana, cottage cheese and sugar or jaggery and ‘Talasaja’. The ritual is done until the full moon comes out.
And it is believed that if the girls will see fresh Moon and offer ‘Chanda Chakata’, they will get a young and handsome future husband. With the old folklore “ Kuanra Punei Janha lo… Phula Baula Beni…” girls offer the Prasad to the Moon and then later some part Prasad is thrown in a pond or water, and everyone consumes the rest.
Every year ‘Kumar Ustav’ is organised in almost every part of Odisha where cultural activities are conducted with dancing and singing. But this year due to the Coronavirus all the cultural programmes are cancelled to are advised to celebrate the festival in low key. Kumar Purnima is the start of the month of ‘Kartika’ and is till ‘Rasa’ Purnima.
Article Written by Dikhya Mohanty
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