Parav-Tribal Dance Festival (November 16-18)
With 62 Tribes, Orissa is rich in tribal culture. The simple tribes have developed a host of dance forms to enjoy their life after a day's hard work. With a view to unfolding this aspect of the tribal culture a festival of tribal dances known as ‘Parava’
is organised in Koraput for a period of about a month in October-November through out the Koraput district culminating in the final event at Koraput every year. The tribal dancers with their traditional costumes and typical head gears keep the visitors amused. Besides the tribal dances this is also an occasion to witness the local products displayed in a craft Mela for exhibition as well as sale.Adivasi Mela at Bhubaneswar (January 26- February 09)
The Orissa State Level Annual Adivasi Exhibition, popularly known as Adivasi Mela, showcases the art and craft of the tribal communities. The special highlights of the fete are the forest products and tribal products, exhibited and sold as well as cultural programmes presented by tribal communities. This is a rare occasion to have a glimpse of the unique tribal culture of Orissa in the urban city of Bhubaneswar. Local residents eagerly wait for this annual opportunity to buy their yearly needs while tourists throng to get an over all picture and feel of the tribal society.
It was being organised for one week from 26th January every year but In view of the popularity of the event gained over the past years, the period of the Mela has been extended from one week to fifteen days. Now it is scheduled from 26th January to 9th February every year from 2010.Folk Dance Festival at Sambalpur (January 4-6)
Orissa is rich in folk dances besides the Classical Odissi Dance. A festival is organised at Sambalpur
for three days from 4th to 6th January to present glimpses of folk dances of Orissa from different regions. The scintillating dances accompanied by rhythmic music, vocal as well as instrumental, keep the visitors spell bound. The dancers and the accompanists also present glimpses of the local handloom fabric through their costumes, which is another attraction of the area.Magha Mela at Chandrabhaga (Konark) (January-February)
The most popular and colourful festival of Konark is Magha Mela, on the6th- 7th day of the bright half of the month of 'Magha' (January-February). The pilgrims from nearby areas assemble on the night of 6th day at Chandrabhaga beach, worship the local deities, and take holy dips in the Chandrabhaga tank on the confluence of the Bay of Bengal next morning and welcome the rising Sun with prayers. The holy dip here and payin homage to the Sun God on this day is considered sacred as Konark is known as Arka Kshetra, the seat of the Sun God This is an occasion to observe the local populace in their traditional colours and costumes. This is the second largest festival of Orissa in terms visitors turn out.Khandagiri Mela & Kharavela Mahotsava at Khandagiri (January-February)
A grand fair is held at Khandagiri near Bhubaneswar
from Magha Saptami day which continues for about a week.A variety of local hand made products, especially from the rural areas, are displayed for sale.
A festival of Indian classical and folk dances is also organized here during this period by the K N Memorial Foundation on an open air pandal in the evening hours.Maha Shivaratri (February-March)
The festival "Shiva's Great Night" falls on the 14th day of the dark half of Phalgun and is observed in all Siva temples. Devotees keep fast during the day and keep a vigil to witness the sacred lamp on the temple top in the night. The festival can be best enjoyed at Bhubaneswar, Kapilas, Huma, Mahendragiri, Puri, Aradi, etc. It is interesting to seee the priest climbing so fast to the top of the temple to place the sacred lamp, especially at Lingaraj Temple, Bhubaneswar which is the tallest of the Siva Temples (about 45 mts.).Dola and Holi (March-April)
Dola Purnima, which marks the end of the lunar year in Orissa, is observed on the full moon day of Phalgun, (March-April) with worship of family deities, especially Radha and Krishna. People also converge on the streets with their idols on gaily decorated 'Vimans'(palanquins) singing devotional songs in their praise.
The day following is observed as Holi, which is a festival of colours.People throw coloured water and powder on each other. Ashokastami (April)
The Rathayatra or Chariot festival of Lord Lingaraj at Bhubaneswar, is held on Ashokastami, 8th day in the bright half of "Chaitra". The protege of Lord Lingaraja is taken in a chariot from the main temple to Rameswar Temple(also known as Mausi Maa Temple) and returned after a four-day stay. It is similar to the Rath Yatra
of Lord Jagannath.However. Chaitra Parba(Chhou Festival) (April 11-13)
The "Chaitra Parba"or "Chhou Festival"
commences from 11th April every year and continues for three days concluding on "Mahavishuva Sankranti Day"at Baripada.Chhou Dances presented by Uttara Sahi and Dakshina Sahi, two leading institutes of Baripada are the highlights of the Festival besides an Exhibition. Chadak Mela (April)
A grand festival known as "Chadak Mela"
or "Bhakta Mela"is held at Chandaneswar in the month of April every year for a period of fifteen days culminating on "Mahavisuba Sankranti"
day. The main events of this festival are "Siva Bibaha"
. "Nila Parva"
and "Patta Parva"
. Sitalasasthi (May-June)
Sitala Sasthi is the festival to reenact the elebration of marriage ceremony of Lord Shiva with Parvati in the tradional way. It starts with the untying of the wedding knot of the divine couple. Devotees act as their parents to perform the marriage. The bridegroom's procession popularly known as "Barat"
starts from the 5th night of the bright half of Jyestha and the marriage is performed in the traditional manner. They then return to the temple next morning by a grand procession during which cultural programmes are performed on mobile vans which are the highlights of the fete. Most popular places are Sambalpur and Barpali
. Durgapuja/Dussehara (September-October)
Durga Puja symbolises the commemoration of good over evil. Clay images of Goddess Durga are made and worshipped in gorgeously decorated pandals for four to five days. On the day succeeding "Vijaya Dasami"
, the last day of Dussehra, the images are taken in a spectacular procession for immersion in the rivers. Cuttack is the best place to witness the festival although almost all major cities of the state celebrate it with equal fervour.
In the Sakti shrines, the festival is observed for 9 to 16 days. In Jajpur, the representatie deity of Goddess Viraja is taken in a colourfully decorated chariot pulled by devotees round the temple.Lakshmi Puja (September-October)
Observed with much pomp and ceremony in Dhenkanal town, it commences from the full moon day of Aswin and continues for a period of one week. Goddess Lakshmi, believed to be the Goddess of Wealth is worshipped in decorated pandals as during Durga Puja. An Exhibition of Handicrafts and Handloom products is also organized.Diwali & Kalipuja (October-November)
It is a festival of light when houses and business premises are colourfully illuminated and tastefully decorated. Many business houses begin their new accounts on this day by offering their worship to Goddess Lakshmi. Goddess Kali is also worshipped on this occasion. Fire works are the highlights of the Festival. It is observed throught out the State, especially in urban & industrial areas.Baliyatra (November-December)
To commemorate the glorious past of maritime trade of Orissa with the islands of Bali, Java, Sumatra etc., people float paper boats with sacred lamps placed on them in the rivers & ponds on the full moon day of Kartik. A big fair called "Bali Yatra"
is held on Mahanadi riverbank at Cuttack for one week It is a fair of the local craft & cuisine.Dhanu Yatra (December-January)
Dhanu Yatra relating to the episode of Lord Krishna 'svisit to Mathura to witness the ceremony of 'Bow' and eventually kill the Demon king Kansa is re-enacted in the form of a folk play on natural settings at Bargarh. The town of Bargarh becomes Mathura, the river Jira becomes Yamuna and the village, Amapalli on the other bank of the river becomes Gopa. Different acts of the Puranic descriptions are performed at their right places and the spectators move from place to place to see the performance. It is the largest open-air theatre of the World, spread over five km. radius with the largest cast as even the spectators are treated as characters. It starts from the 5th day of the bright half of Pausa with the marriage ceremony of Basudev & Devaki and ends on the full moon day with the death of Kansa.