Banarpal: The tradition of ‘Janmashtami’ celebration at Kulad village under this block in Angul district is three hundred years old.
Yet, the vigour, enthusiasm and of course devotion with which the festival observed to mark the birth of Lord Krishna is celebrated has not waned. The religious fervor has in fact increased.
The nondescript village has been abuzz with all the activities for the last couple of days. Houses have been whitewashed and decorated. The entire village has been bedecked with festoons and mango leaves. Gates with colourful running lights have been erected.
“We observe the festival for two days. Like every year, some rituals have been performed in the morning at the temple and in the evening the deity will be placed on a swing decorated with flowers and twigs. Cultural troupes from nearby villages will be engaged to chant the lord’s name,” observed some organisers including Bamadev Seth, Sudhakar Swain, Harihara Dehury and some others.
The two-day celebration’s main attraction is the practice of breaking ‘dahi handi’ to be celebrated Saturday. Devotees will assemble at the ‘bhagabata tungi’ where they will observe the ‘brat’. After fasting for the whole day, they will partake on the ‘Prasad’ with great devotion, they narrated.
As all the villagers are taking part in the celebration, it has assumed a form of mass celebration. Young and old, men and women all take part in the celebration. Those who are staying outside never forget the occasion and return to the village to celebrate the grand occasion.
Another striking feature of the celebration is that the villagers abstain from non-vegetarian food for these two days.
Finally, the festival culminates with different cultural programmes in the evening, giving an opportunity to the villagers to strengthen the brotherhood that has been keeping them all united.