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Magha Saptami

Magha Saptami:Festival of Orissa

Magha Shukla Saptami, or Magha Saptami, is an auspicious day dedicated to Lord Surya, the sun god in Hinduism. It is one of the important festivals of orissa. It is observed on the seventh day of the Shukla Paksha (waxing phase of moon) of Magh Month (January – February). The most important ritual on the day is taking a holy dip (bathing ritual) on sunrise. The famous and colorful festival at Chandrabhaga that results in grand congregation of pilgrims from different parts of the world is celebrated during this period.

The pilgrims take a holy dip at the Chandrabhaga Tirtha near the sea and welcome the rising Sun with prayers. A grand fair is held at Khandagiri near Bhubaneswar on the same day, which continues for a week. Magha Saptami is also observed at many other places in Orissa. Millions of devotees gather here before dawn, transforming sunrise into a religious event. It is believed that a dip in the river on this day cures all illness and the spiritual benefit is compared to that off the holy Ganga. To enthusiasts outside Orissa, this festival is also known as Chandrabhaga fair