June 10, 2016
|Last Year (2015)||24th May|
|Present Year (2016)||10st June|
|Next Year (2017)|
Sitalsasthi is a significant festival of Utkal Brahmins which remarks the-the marriage of lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. It is majorly celebrated in Odisha and Utkal Brahmins. History of this festival is 400 hundred years old and was started in Sambalpur when King Ajit Singh son of Chatra Sai of the Chowhan dynasty (1695–1766) brought some Utkal Srotriya Vaidik Brahmin families from Puri to settle at the Sambalpur Kingdom who establish their isht Dev Lord Balunkeswar at Balibandha, Sambalpur & first started Sitalsasti Jatra. Later Jhadua Brahmins who worship Jagannath and follow Vaishnava established Loknath temple at Jhaduapada and started their own Sitalsasti Jatra.This Hindu festival is carried out in the form of a carnival.
When Is It Celebrated?
Every year, Sitalsathi is celebrated towards the end of the summer season i.e on the sixth day of the bright fortnight of the month of Jyestha to worship the god of rain to downpour the rain to get relief from blistering heat of the sun in summer. Artists from different parts of the country participate in the carnival and enhance its beauty and significance with their enthusiasm and joy. This festival attracts tourists from neighbouring states as well as abroad.
How It Is Celebrated?
This festival is celebrated in the form of rath yatra. In the celebrations, the God and goddesses are married like human beings. One family is nominated as the father and mother of Goddess Parvati and offers the hand of Parvati To Shiva for marriage. Noone can act as the father and mother of Lord Shiva as he is Swayam Bhu. The marriage procession of lord Shiva starts from the temple of Shiva along with other Gods and Goddesses. Lord Narasimha and Hanuman leads the procession to the Parvati’s residence where the baarat is welcomed by Bride’s family members. The idols of Shiva and Parvati are kept in a well-decorated buggy or palanquin. The father and mother of Parvati perform the Kanya Daana and the marriage is accomplished. Next day the procession or baarat returns to the temple with Goddess Parvati. In the carnival, folk dances, folk music and other-other forms dance are performed which is the main attraction point. Thal Utha (Beginning), Patarpendi (Nirbandha), Guagunda (Invitation), Ganthla Khula are observed religiously. Shiva and Parvati are treated as Ganadevata during this festival during the Rath Yatra in the similar way as Jagannath is treated during Rath Yatra in Puri.