Sital Sasthi Festival
Sital Sasthi is celebrated to commemorate the marriage ceremony of Lord Shiva with Parvati. It is a week long festival, observed in the month of June and is characterised by great pomp and glory. The festival invites a large number of devotees from neighbouring districts and states who participate in the festival with great religious vigour.
Nuakhai is another significant social festival of the district which is observed in the months of August and September. The preparations for the festival begin fifteen days prior to the occasion. As offerings to the deities, the first grains of paddy crop are cooked into various dishes. The new rice is then distributed by the eldest member of the family to others. The houses are cleaned and beautifully decorated. People greet each other and the spirit of the festival can be felt throughout the Hindu community irrespective of economic strata.
Bhai Juntia Festival
On the Mahastami day of Durga Puja, Bhai Juntia festival is celebrated with great devotion. This festival is common mostly in the regions of western Odisha. On this occasion, girls and women observe a whole day fast for seeking the blessings of Goddess Durga for long life of their brothers. 'Bhai' is the Oriya term for brother.
Puajiuntia festival is also celebrated by the women of the district. On this occasion, fasting is observed by the mothers for the prosperity and long life of their sons. Their fast is believed to invoke the grace of Lord Dutibahana for the same purpose.
Other Festivals of Sambalpur District
Apart from these, other Hindu festivals celebrated in the district involve Saraswati Puja, Ganesh Puja, Diwali, Janmashtami, Durga Puja, Dola Yatra and many more. During the festival of Shivaratri, a grand fair is organized at Huma which invites a plethora of devotees. Makara Jatra is another huge fair held at Themra of Sambalpur district. Ratha Yatra is a significant festival which is celebrated in almost all parts of the district. Sikhs residing in the district celebrate Guru Nanak Jayanti as one of their main festivals. Among the Muslim community, Id ul Zuha, Eid Ul Fitr and Muharram are the important festivals observed.
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