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November 10, 2017
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Prathamastami is the most popular festival of Orissa. On this day the eldest child of the family is honored. The social significance of celebrating Prathamastami is that the first-borns are brighter who take up the burden of the family after the parents. First born are mostly healthy, obedient and tradition-bound. Therefore, people believe that the family tradition is maintained through them. Therefore eldest child is honored to occupy the respectable place in the family and maintains the heredity and rituals.
When Is It Celebrated?
The celebration falls on Ashtami, the dark half eighth day in the month of Margashira (November or December) according to the Purnimanta calendar followed in North India, Which comes after the eight days of Kartik Purnima.
How It Is Celebrated?
On this occasion of Prathamastami, the eldest child of the family is honoured. Before this, the mother and all other elderly women of the family offer all the prepared Pitha, a special kind of cake also called as Enduri to Sathi Devi first. Then they light the “Diya” or lamp before the Goddess. After this, the first-borns get honoured.
He or she is given new clothes and is made to sit on a wooden pedestal (Pidha). An earthen pot full of water called Purna Kumbha is placed in front of him/her wit handfuls of paddy. A branch of mango leaves and a coconut is placed above the pot. Then the mother or any other elderly lady from the family wishes him/her long-life and good health by praying to Sathi Debi, the Goddess who protects children from all kinds of evils.
The cake is then taken by all the members of the family. Some other varieties of cakes like Haladi Patra Pitha, Khiri etc. are also prepared on this festival. The festival is observed with a great devotion in the temple of Lingaraj at Bhubaneswar. The deity of Lingaraj is taken out in a palanquin to a tank, which is called as “Papanasini”, situated just behind the temple.