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Agni Utsav (Orissa)
Agni Utsav –National Festival of Orissa
Orissa is the state where customs and traditions are celebrated with great enthusiasm. The celebrations in this state vary from district to the other and from one tribe to the other. Agni Utsav is the national festival of Orissa and has great importance among the farmers of the state. This festival is celebrated in the month of mid-February every year with respect and rejoices. The date of the festival keeps changing every year. With respect to Agni means “Fire” people of Orissa prays for the enhancement and prosperity of their family. They consider Agni as the most powerful sign that can help all farmers for good farming and wealth.
Agni Utsav Festival Date:
Agni Utsav Festival 2017- 10 February
Agni Utsav Festival 2018- 31 January
Agni Utsav Festival 2019- 19 February
Agni Utsav Festival 2020- 09 February
Agni Utsav Festival 2021- 27 February
Agni Utsav Festival 2022- 16 February
Foregrounds of Agni Utsav
Orissa is popular for its traditional and cultural activities across India. Agni festival is a perfect example that defines the Orissa culture towards divinity. This festival revolves around the power of Agni. The spiritual fervour of Orissa is reflected through Agni Utsav. On the day of celebrations a heap of hays is led by farmers in the fields. This is an important occasion that shows togetherness and bonding among the people of Orissa. Many prior arrangements are made by the farmers. The entire family gets involved in this festival.
Traditions of Agni Utsav generally followed
When planning for this festival, there are various traditions that have to be followed. Women clean their house week before whereas men collect straws that are required to burn during the Agni festival. Apart from this, entire village is completely cleaned so as to welcome peace and prosperity. The name given to this auspicious festival itself suggest that Fire is worshipped in which a heap of bundle straws and dried grasses are burnt along with it. All farmers gathered and collectively put heaps of bundle straws in the fire. Everyone in the family enjoys this festival along with friends and family. After the celebrations, prayers and Puja are offered.
Significance of the Festival of Agni Utsav
The farmers of Orissa by heart believe that the burning bundle of straws along with heap of completely dried grass help them in a positive way to predict about the crops coming in the next year. Direction of the straw while the same is burnt decides the next year’s crop. The predictions are usually made depending on the flame. An eastward tilt in fire reflects chance of high tides and sudden entry of the saline waters right into the fields. A tilt towards westward predicts floods. A slight tilt of the flame towards the Northeast means better crops. This festival is a special attraction for the tourists from all over the world.
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