Pana Sankranti - Odia New Year

Pana Sankranti (Odia: ପଣା ସଂକ୍ରାନ୍ତି) is the 1st day of Odia New Year. This is also known as Maha Vishuba Sankranti. This festival is the traditional new year's day festival of Buddhists also.

The festival date is set with the solar cycle of the lunisolar calendar, as the first day of the traditional solar month of Mesha. This is identical to the purnimanta system of the lunar month Baisakh. It therefore almost always falls on 14 April every year on the Gregorian calendar, but in a leap year on the 13th of April.

The festival is celebrated with visits to Shiva, Shakti, or Hanuman temples, as the day is considered to be the birthday of Hanuman according to Odia Calendar. Communities participate in mela or fairs, do feasts and special drinks such as a chilled sweet mango-milk-yogurt-coconut drink called Bela Pana is shared, a tradition that part is the source of this festival's name.

Pana Sankranti is similar to new year festivals observed by Hindus elsewhere such as Vaisakhi in the north and central India, Bihu in Assam, Pohela Boishakh in Bengal, and Puthandu in Tamil Nadu.

Festivals like Danda Nata, Uda Jatra, or Uda Parba, are celebrated during this time. Danda Jatra or Danda Nata is one of the ancient dance forms of Odisha, originating from Galleri and Baibelli village of Ghumushar.

Uda Parba is a traditional tribal festival similar to Danda Nata where iron nails (12-16 inches) are hammered into the back of the devotees and tagged with a rope. It's quite dangerous.

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