kumara purnima festival celebration 2023.

Odisha is known as the land of festivals. At least 13 major festivals are celebrated in a year, which only reaffirms the fact that the people love to enjoy, mingle and take a break from everyday worries. Though all the festivals in the state are celebrated to remember the event related to that particular day, two festivals – Raja Sankranti and Kumar Purnima – stand out because they are celebrations of womanhood.

Kumar Purnima wishes

While Raja, a three-day festival, marks the occasion when the mother goddess Earth undergoes menstruation and is celebrated before the onset of monsoon, Kumara Purnima, a festival that is popular among the young girls of the state, will be celebrated Wednesday.

On Kumara Purnima, it is believed, girls can get a good-looking and ideal husband like Kartikeya, son of Lord Shiva, by worshipping the Moon God.

Earlier, the festival was observed by the girls in both rural and urban areas with equal pomp and gaiety. Of late, Kumara Purnima has lost a lot of its sheen in the city as people are busy with the hustle and bustle of everyday life. But there are a few who still reminisce about their youthful days and turn nostalgic about the festival, as Orissa POST found.

Tanuja Mohapatra, who lives at Balidokan village near the famous Konark Temple after her marriage into a farmer family, relives her younger days with her recollections of the festival.

“Though I was born in the heart of the city (Unit-III area of Bhubaneswar), it was more like a village. The spirit of celebration of Kumar Purnima here was not very different from that in the rural areas. Like our rural counterparts, we used to wear new clothes after a morning bath and make food offerings to the Sun God. The same ritual was repeated in the evening as well to the Moon God. Then it was all about fun and games once the moon appeared in the sky.”

But gone are those days. Though the girls near Konark celebrate Kumara Purnima, they no longer sing the signature song ‘Kuanra Punei Janhalo…”. It has been replaced by DJs, regretted Tanuja.

According to poet Eli Mohanty, “The moon still appears in all its glory on the day of Kumara Purnima but offering ‘Anjuli’ (a ritual) to earth’s satellite has become a matter of shame for modern day girls. Earlier, the grandmas used to scare the unmarried girls about getting an old groom if they saw the moon late. But that fear has disappeared from the mind of the girls now.

Eli still misses the new clothes, alta-dye, sandalwood paste and the half-moon shaped ‘pitha’ sans salt of the Kumara Purnima of her childhood.

Priyanka Baisakh of Jagatsinghpur district now lives in Nelson Bay, a coastal resort town in Port Stephens, Australia. She said Kumara Purnima is celebrated among the Odia community there if it falls on a weekend. As they are very busy on weekdays, they cannot even think about celebrations on those days. Not many can sing the signature song of Kumara Purnima these days nor do they know ‘Puchi,’ the signature game of the festival, she said.

Priyanka, who had spent a few years in Odisha, recalled how ‘Puchi’ competitions were held under the moonlight in the villages. In Australia, they content themselves with some indoor games there, she said.