being a land of ancient and sacred temples, and a state where three
religions flourished, is thronged by pilgrims throughout the year.
There are a large number of fairs and festivals celebrated in the
state. There are festivals relating to each religion, tribal
festivals, festivals relating to Lord Jagannath, the presiding deity
of the Puri Temple, and many seasonal exhibitions and fairs as well as
special festivals such as the Konark Dance Festival, the Rajarani
Music Festival, the Puri Beach Festival etc.
Durga Puja :- Durga Puja (September-October) symbolises the
commemoration of good over evil. Life comes to a stand-still in the
city of Cuttack as crowds pour over the Puja Mandaps to enjoy the
festivities. On the day succeeding 'Vijaya Dasami', the last day of
Dussera, the images are taken in a spectacular procession for
immersion in the river Kathajodi.
Rath Yatra :- The most famous Orissan festival is of course the
Ratha Yatra or Car Festival (June-July) which attracts pilgrims and
visitors from all over the world. On the full moon day of the month of
Jyestha known as snana Purnima, the idols of Jagannath, Balabhadra
slid Subhadra are brought out and bathed on a pendal known as the
snarlamandap according to religious rites.
Chandan Yatra :- Chandan Yatra marks the conclusion of the
cycle of religious festivals observed in the famous shrine of Lord
Jagannth at Puri followed by similar other shrines of Orissa. The
festival, starting from Akshyaya Trutiya, lasts for twenty-one days
and is held in the month of Baisakh at the height of the summer heat
(sandle-paste) and water are essential to keep people cool.
Dola Purnima ( Holi ) :- Dolapwnima or Holi is the most famous
spring festival of India. Usually celebrated in March. It has special
properties in its celebration in Orissa where it is a five day affair,
especially in the rural areas. The images of Krishna are worshipped
form Dashami (10th day of the bright fortnight) to the full moon day.
Puri Beach Festival :- The Puri Beach Festival is an out and
out fun lovers fest. Conducted by the Hotel and Restaurant Association
of Orissa (HRAO), the festival is a celebration of Orissa, in all its
beauty, charm and fun-loving spirit. With events ranging from Fashion
shows to rock shows, the Puri Beach festival.
Konark Dance Festival :- Described as a poem in stone, the Sun
temple at Konark is the crowning glory of the temple architecture of
Orissa. As a fitting tribute to the majestic monument, eminent
classical dancers of India get together during the Konark Festival