Celebrating Pana Sankranti - A Traditional Festival of Odisha

Celebrating Pana Sankranti - A Traditional Festival of Odisha

Pana Sankranti (Odia: ପଣା ସଂକ୍ରାନ୍ତି), also known as Maha Vishuba Sankranti or Mesha Sankranti, is a traditional festival celebrated in Odisha to mark the beginning of the new year. This festival holds great significance for the people of Odisha as it marks the beginning of the harvest season and the start of the Hindu solar calendar. In this blog post, we'll explore the traditions, rituals, and customs associated with Pana Sankranti and what makes it such a unique festival in Odisha.

Origin and Significance of Pana Sankranti:

Pana Sankranti is celebrated on the first day of the solar month of "Baishakha" which falls in mid-April. The festival marks the beginning of the new year as per the Odia solar calendar and is celebrated to honor the Sun God, Lord Shiva, and Lord Hanuman. The name "Pana" is derived from a traditional drink made of Bael or Bela, which is consumed during the festival. Dahi Pana is quite famous for this day.

Customs and Traditions:

On the day of Pana Sankranti, people wake up early, take a bath, and visit nearby temples to offer prayers to Lord Shiva. Devotees prepare the traditional "Pana" drink by mixing bela, water, jaggery, black pepper, and cardamom. The drink is offered to the deities and shared among family and friends as a sign of goodwill and harmony.

Another custom associated with Pana Sankranti is the "Mela" or fair, which is organized in several villages and towns across Odisha. The fairs feature various cultural programs, including traditional music and dance performances, food stalls, and fun activities like swings and games.

Pana Sankranti is a traditional festival that celebrates the onset of the Odia new year and the beginning of the Summer season in Odisha. The festival's customs and traditions, including the preparation and sharing of the Pana drink and the organization of fairs and cultural programs, bring people together and foster a sense of unity and harmony. If you're in Odisha during Pana Sankranti, make sure to participate in the festivities and experience the rich cultural heritage of the state.

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