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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Happy Kartika Purnima (And Happy Boita Bandana to my Oriya Friends)

Kartika Purnima is touted as the Holiest day in the Hindu calendar. As per folklore, people who die on this day go directly to Heaven. This day is observed with much religious activity in most parts of India. 'Deepam Daan' or 'Dipa Daana' as we call it in Oriya is a must on this day. Bali Jatra on the banks of river Mahanadi also kicks off on this day.

Boita Baandana is also celebrated on this day. While it started in very ancient times in reverence of Orissa's (then 'Kalinga') rich maritime heritage, it has turned out to be one of the most popular festivals. Most people get up at the crack of dawn, take a bath in the river and set afloat a small boat 'Boita' which has an earthen lamp, flowers and incense sticks in it. Traditionally this boat is made from the large red/maroon petals of the banana flower or the white banana stem ( you can see those in the below picture ).

Thermocool boats cut out in fancy shapes and decorated with colors and bunting are also popular these days. In case you find it difficult to find a water body nearby, do feel free to sail your boat in a large water tub or pool. Go grab your boat now !!

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