Monday, 30 April 2018

Bali Yatra And Boita Bandana #AToZChallenge

Odisha celebrates many festivals and several 'Yatra'.
In ancient times, enterprising sons of Odisha, traders referred to as Sadhaba & Sadhaba-pua used to sail from Odisha's ports in huge boats to foreign lands like Bali, Java, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Borneo etc.
At Bali Jatra venue, Cuttack
Boats are present in the handicrafts, handlooms and art of Odisha like in the framed Pattachitra (painting) below.
Pattachitra Art depicting the welcome for the Sadhaba-pua
The expeditions usually commenced on Kartik Purnima, the full moon day in November. Women prayed for their safe travel. When the Sadhaba-pua returned safely from their trip, they were received with much fanfare and celebration.
Bali Jatra and Boita Bandana reflect and commemorate the rich maritime trade and history of Odisha.

Bali Yatra
Bali Yatra or Bali Jatra is a large and popular fair of Odisha that is held every year on the Mahanadi river bank near the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack.

Bali Jatra literally means a 'Voyage to Bali'. Bali Jatra celebrates Odisha's maritime historical tradition and connection with Bali and South-East Asia. A lot of entertainment, cuisine and shopping options are available. Every year, Bali Jatra draws a huge crowd during the fair duration of 10-14 days starting from the full moon day of the month of Kartika (usually in November)

Boita Bandana
Boita Bandana is a maritime festival of Odisha.
In Odia, the word 'Boita' means 'Boat' and 'Bandana' means 'Worship'. Boita Bandana refers to the 'worshipping of boats'.
For five consecutive days before the full moon of Kartik Purnima, people gather near water-bodies- ponds, lakes, riverbanks or the seashore and float miniature boats in remembrance of their ancestors, who sailed to distant lands. Those who do not have access to big water-bodies, make do with arrangements at the local temple, where temporary pools (water-tubs!) are made available for devotees.
Tiny boats made from paper and other materials are available. Lit lamps are kept inside the boats after which the 'Boita Bandana' ritual is performed. Odisha's Boita Bandana celebration is like Bali's 'Masakapan Ke Tukad' festival, and like Thailand's 'Loi Krathong' festival. In these traditional festivals, boats are floated during the same time of the year.

It so so amazing to find that even after so many centuries, the illustrious past-connections and traditions still continue!

Post for my second #atozchallenge. Y for Yatra.
My Theme is- "Odisha- The Soul of Incredible India".
Odisha is a state in the eastern part of India. Have you visited Odisha and India? 
I am sharing some glimpses from Odisha. Do keep reading and discovering!

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