Orissa News

Garbhana Sankranti

Laxmi worship on Garbhana Sankranti: Festivals of Orissa

Garbhana Sankranti is a festival, unique to Orissa, and is celebrated on the first day of the solar month of Kartika, on the same day as Mahashtami. This day is like a day of milestone achievement for farmers. Rice plants are now with ears of corn in their womb. This is compared to pregnancy of a woman and hence the name 'Garbhana' (meaning pregnant). These pregnant rice plants represent Lakshmi the Goddess of Wealth and fertility and are worshipped with offerings in the paddy fields. It is believed that a huge quantity of corn would be harvested as a result of this display of respect to the paddy crops. The practice is also believed to lessen the effect of famine or flood on the agricultural field and the crops are protected from pests and insects. Dhana (Wheat grains) and Kara Branches (a medicinal plant with anti insecticidal properties) are offered in worship and taken to the agricultural field for plantation. Different kind of dishes are prepared to satisfy the Goddess Laxmi. All the members of the family take meals to their heart's content believing that they will thus always be supplied with dainty dishes. Also known as Tula Sankranti,this is an important festival of orissa.