Every state of India has its unique culture and tradition for Diwali. Odisha too has geared up for its share of celebrations and rituals.
Diwali, the festival of light signifies the victory of light over darkness.
According to mythology, on this day, Rama, Sita and Laxman came back to Ayodhya from their prolonged exile of 14 years. This festival is celebrated to observe the victory of Rama over Ravana and his arrival in Ayodhya. The festival is usually observed by cleaning and whitewashing homes, lighting traditional earthen lamps (diyas), decorating houses with colourful rangoli artworks, sharing sweet, and gifts with families and friends, and bursting of crackers.
In Odisha, Diwali is celebrated in the same way as the rest of the world but with the exception of one small ritual, called Bada Badua Daka. This unique tradition is associated with the Jagannath culture, because he is believed to be the Supreme God. According to the tradition, the day of Diwali is marked by invoking ancestors and forefathers of ones’ families and paying homage to them in order to receive their blessings.
In the morning, beautiful rangolis in the shape of a sailboat are drawn. Later after dusk, all the members of the family gather together and perform puja by lighting a lamp and placing it inside an earthen pot that is tied to a pole erected in front of the house.
All the members then light a bunch of jute sticks individually from the puja diya and raise it towards the sky accompanied by chanting of the verse: ‘Badabadua ho Badabadua andar re aasa aalua re jaa, baisipahache ladoo khao Subha drusti re chahinthao’.
After the puja and offerings, the family celebrates Diwali by bursting crackers and having sweets.