(Last Updated on : 03-07-2014)
When it comes to the culture, Nabarangpur district of Orissa has a lot to offer. With three dominant religions, the culture of this district is diversified. Hindu, Muslim and Christianity are the major religion practiced here. The main festivals are Ratha Yatra
, Maha Shiva Ratri, Dussehra
, Muhharam and Christmas
. Town dwellers and the hill tribes all come together to celebrate the festivals.
Holi, the festival of spring is a three day long celebration. While the first two days are spent on ceremonies, the third is mostly for the young people that rejoice in sprinkling coloured liquid or smearing coloured power on one another. All difference of birth, caste, sex or even community melts away. Rath Yatra is a much bigger festival. The presiding deity Lord Jagannath
along with his elder brother and younger sister move away from the temple on a nine-day resort. Devotees drag them along a main route on a wooden chariot. The Bahuda Jatra or the return car festival marks the end of the annual carnival. Dussehra is again a ten-day long Hindu festival, a time honoured ritual in which Goddess Durga, epitome of power and energy, motherhood of the whole universe, is worshipped with due fervour and solemnity. Deities from various areas, towns and villages, are symbolically brought through bedecked large bamboo poles to the accompaniment of beating drums and sounds of other musical instruments. On the day of Vijaya Dasami, special elaborate offerings are made to the Deity which includes the age-old practice of animal sacrifice of appeasing the Goddess, the destroyer of demonical forces. People are always in their colourful best costume and celebrate the majestic occasion.
is also celebrated with much splendour in Nabarangpur. Mahadev- the God of gods is the central figure of worship for saving the whole of creation by drinking the deadly venom spit out by the legendary serpent Vasuki. Papadahandi temple of this district is a pilgrim centre to celebrate such occasion. Festivals of other communities too evoke reverence. The Muharram
of the Muslims is a day of prayer and remembrance. Huge processions are taken round the township and mass prayers are held at Mosques. Inter community greetings are exchanged in a spirit of brotherhood. The Christmas
Day marks the beginning of a long festival running up to the New Year's Day. Christians of all hues celebrate at home, churches and open fields. Members of other communities also rejoice in it to mark communal harmony.