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HAPPY ODIA NEW YEAR

Pana Sankranti, also known as Maha Vishuba Sankranti or Mahabisuha Sankranti, is the traditional new year day festival of Hindus in Odisha, India. The festival date is set with the solar cycle of the lunisolar Hindu Calendar, as the first day of the traditional solar month of Mesha. The festival is celebrated with visits to Shiva, Shakti, or Hanuman temples, as the day is considered to be the birthday of Hanuman. People take baths in rivers or major pilgrimage centers. Communities participate in mela (fairs), watch street dance or acrobatic performances. A notable climax of the social celebrations is fire-walk, where volunteers sprint over a bed of burning coal while being cheered with music and songs.

Feasts and special drinks such as a chilled sweet mango-milk-yoghurt-coconut drink called Pana is shared, a tradition that partly is the source of this festival’s name.

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Chandan Mandal

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