Bhubaneswar: The ritual of siblings getting together and celebrating ‘Raksha Bandhan’ witnessed a digital revolution in Odisha this time. Many brothers and sisters adopted virtual platforms to enjoy the day in view of the safeguards necessitated by COVID-19 pandemic. Unlike yesteryears, the usual pomp and extravaganza was missing this time during the Raksha Bandhan festival.
The Raksha Bandhan festival symbolizes love and affection between a brother and his sister. However, this time around the celebrations were muted, as people chose to abide by COVID-19 protocols, including social distancing.
Online celebrations appeared to have emerged as a popular choice across Odisha. Many people adopted tying of e-rakhis and live videos through digital platforms. Most of the siblings chose to place online orders instead of visiting markets to purchase rakhis. Many people sent rakhis through post or courier service.
Odisha Governor Ganeshi Lal and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik greeted the people on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan.
Extending warm greetings to the people, Lal in a message said, the festival and the message it conveys are significant for all.
“Heartiest greetings and congratulations to all on the occasion of the holy ‘Ghama or Rakhi Purnima. May this sacred bond be further strengthened by the message of peace and friendship with the blessings of Lord Jagannath,” Patnaik said.
The festival has added significance in Odisha as it is celebrated as ‘Gamha Purnima’, which marks the birthday of Lord Balabhadra.
On this day, Goddess Subhadra ties the thread of love on her two brothers – Lord Balabhadra and Lord Jagannath – at Sri Jagannath Temple in Puri.