Pana drink ushers in Odia New Year

Sikhs celebrate Baisakhi as devotees offer prayer to Lord Hanuman

By Namita Panda in Bhubaneshwar
  • Published 15.04.15
A woman enjoys pana on the occasion of Maha Vishuba Sankranti
The Sikh community celebrate Baisakhi at Gurdwara Singh Sabha on Tuesday in Bhubaneswar. Pictures by Sanjib Mukherjee

Bhubaneswar, April 14: The Odia New Year was celebrated today across the state.

The occasion of Maha Vishuba Sankranti was also observed with fanfare and religious fervour. Pana glasses were clinked to usher in the festivities the festival.

In Bhubaneswar and Cuttack, stalls were set up in different areas to distribute the natural drink to mark the arrival of the Odia Nava Varsha.

The replenishing drink was first offered to deities in various temples and then shared by merry makers. There were some who preferred bela pana, which is prepared by crushing the pulp of stone apples, while for many others amba pana was the drink to have on the first day of the Odia calendar. To add fun to drink, many revellers added bhaang to the drink.

" Bhaang gives a twist to pana and this combination is extremely popular. We distributed both plain and bhaang pana at our youth club. Pana is the chief element of the festival and that is why the occasion is called Pana Sankranti," said Sanjay, a member of a Bhubaneswar-based youth group.

The birthday of Lord Hanuman was also observed across the state with several organisations holding religious ceremonies with the continuous chanting of Hanuman Chalisa. People cutting across age groups joined the prayers and yagnas organised to pay tribute to the deity.

At many temples, umbrellas, palm leaf fans and wooden slippers were offered to the needy.

Members of the Sikh community turned up at gurdwaras across the state to celebrate Baisakhi.

In southern and west Odisha, goddesses were invoked on the occasion of the ongoing danda jatra, jhamu jatra, meru jatra and chaiti parba festivals, where devotees perform challenging stunts to fulfil their vows.

In Berhampur, where the Thakurani Jatra is under way, goddess Budhi Thakurani was offered pana and palm leaf fans. In Jagatsinghpur, the famous site of Goddess Sarala was thronged by devotees on the occasion of the Maha Vishuba Sankranti for special festivities.

The new Odia almanac was first consecrated by Lord Jagannath in Puri and then the prediction of the year for Odisha and India was shared by astrologers.

"For Odisha it will be overall peaceful but there will be a few turbulent events this year. For India, the year will be a good one in almost all fields," said Ghanshyam Das, a city based astrologer.

Celebrations and wishing went online too. Social network sites were full with Odias wishing each other on the occasion. Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted his wishes for Odia fraternity on the Odia New Year.