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Orissa Fairs & Festivals
Orissa being a land of ancient and sacred temples, and a state where three religions flourished, is thronged by pilgrims throughout the year. There are a large number of fairs and festivals celebrated in the state. There are festivals relating to each religion, tribal festivals, festivals relating to Lord Jagannath, the presiding deity of the Puri Temple, and many seasonal exhibitions and fairs as well as special festivals such as the Konark Dance Festival, the Rajarani Music Festival, the Puri Beach Festival etc.
Durga Puja :- Durga Puja (September-October) symbolises the commemoration of good over evil. Life comes to a stand-still in the city of Cuttack as crowds pour over the Puja Mandaps to enjoy the festivities. On the day succeeding 'Vijaya Dasami', the last day of Dussera, the images are taken in a spectacular procession for immersion in the river Kathajodi.
Rath Yatra :- The most famous Orissan festival is of course the Ratha Yatra or Car Festival (June-July) which attracts pilgrims and visitors from all over the world. On the full moon day of the month of Jyestha known as snana Purnima, the idols of Jagannath, Balabhadra slid Subhadra are brought out and bathed on a pendal known as the snarlamandap according to religious rites.
Chandan Yatra :- Chandan Yatra marks the conclusion of the cycle of religious festivals observed in the famous shrine of Lord Jagannth at Puri followed by similar other shrines of Orissa. The festival, starting from Akshyaya Trutiya, lasts for twenty-one days and is held in the month of Baisakh at the height of the summer heat when Chandan (sandle-paste) and water are essential to keep people cool.
Dola Purnima ( Holi ) :- Dolapwnima or Holi is the most famous spring festival of India. Usually celebrated in March. It has special properties in its celebration in Orissa where it is a five day affair, especially in the rural areas. The images of Krishna are worshipped form Dashami (10th day of the bright fortnight) to the full moon day.
Puri Beach Festival :- The Puri Beach Festival is an out and out fun lovers fest. Conducted by the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Orissa (HRAO), the festival is a celebration of Orissa, in all its beauty, charm and fun-loving spirit. With events ranging from Fashion shows to rock shows, the Puri Beach festival.
Konark Dance Festival :- Described as a poem in stone, the Sun temple at Konark is the crowning glory of the temple architecture of Orissa. As a fitting tribute to the majestic monument, eminent classical dancers of India get together during the Konark Festival every year.