Samba Dashami is a temple festival with its uniqueness to the state of Odisha. It is celebrated on the 10th day of the Shukla Paksha of Pausha month of Bengali Year.
Mythological History behind Samba Dasami
According to the mythological legend, Samba, son of Lord Krishna, was afflicted by leprosy and was cured by the Sun God Surya after 12 years of penance near Konark Sun Temple. On this day, mothers pray to Lord Surya for the health of their children.
Celebration of Samba Dasami
On the day of Samba Dashami, the women in the family wake before sunrise. After bathing they prepare dishes such as Khichdi, Oriya Puli and Ghadghadia Tarkari (a curry), and offer them to the Sun God or Lord Surya at sunrise. Each of the families prepared food item that is offered in the name of each family member. Once the food items have been offered to Lord Surya, the women prepare a set of cake-like dishes called Pitha, which include Manda Pitha, Kakara Pitha, Arisha Pitha, Biri Laddoo, Makar Chaula,Chhenaguda, Dhanu Muaan, Khiri, Rasagola, Jhilli, Chhenagaja, and sweet curd. At noon, a bowl of turmeric water with betel leaves in it is taken to chaunra mula (a small temple-like structure with a Tulsi or basil plant overhead). All the cooked foods are served on plates. The women in the family view the Sun God Lord Saurya through the bowl of turmeric water and offer all the dishes to the Sun God. They read the legend of Samba Dasami Brata Katha and pray for the well-being of all family members. In the evening, another Puja or divine offerings are observed as a part of the Samba Dasami ritual. This is Mahakala Puja', in which special Budha Chakuli is offered to Lord Yama.
Food Offerings in Samba Dashami
Manda Pitha, Kakara Pitha, Arisha Pitha, Biri Ladoo, Makar Chaula, Chhenaguda, Dhanu Muaan, Khiri, Rasagola, Jhilli and Chhenagaja are the food offerings in Samba Dasami.
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