When is Pana Sankranti 2024? Date, timing, history, significance and celebration of Odia New Year - Hindustan Times
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When is Pana Sankranti 2024? Date, timing, history, significance and celebration of Odia New Year

By, New Delhi
Apr 13, 2024 02:12 PM IST

Pana Sankranti holds great significance as it marks the commencement of the Odia New Year. From date to history, here's all you need to know about the festival.

Pana Sankranti, also known as Maha Bishuba Sankranti, is the traditional New Year celebration of the Odia people of Odisha, India. The event falls on the first day of the lunar month of Baisakha, which corresponds to the first day of the traditional solar month of Meṣa in the Odia solar calendar. In Odisha, a sweet drink called 'pana' is prepared and shared on this auspicious day, especially in rural areas. The festivities also include the worship of Lord Jagannath, who is believed to have created the pana drink. The festival is a time of rebirth, new beginnings and community, and its colourful celebrations perfectly capture Odisha's rich cultural heritage. From date to history, scroll down to know more. (Also read: Baisakhi to Vishu: Interesting facts about spring harvest festivals celebrated in India )

Pana Sankranti is a festival of new beginnings and togetherness celebrated in the Indian state of Odisha.(HT photo)
Pana Sankranti is a festival of new beginnings and togetherness celebrated in the Indian state of Odisha.(HT photo)

Pana Sankranti 2024 date and timing

This year, the auspicious festival of Pana Sankranti will be celebrated on Saturday, April 13th. As per Drik Panchang, the auspicious Pana Sankranti Moment is scheduled to commence at 9:15 PM, marking the observance of this special occasion.

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Pana Sankranti history

The festival of Pana Sankranti has been celebrated for centuries and is believed to have its roots in the ancient agricultural practices of the region, signifying the beginning of the new agricultural cycle. According to folklore, Lord Jagannath, the presiding deity of the famous Jagannath Temple in Puri, is credited with creating the Pana drink to relieve the sweltering summer heat. This concoction of water, jaggery, yoghurt and a mixture of spices is believed to have cooling properties. An integral part of the festival, the pana drink is shared among friends, family and neighbours, symbolising camaraderie and unity.

Significance of Pana Sankranti

In Odisha, the culture and traditions of India, Pana Sankranti is very important. The event ushers in the new agricultural year and is celebrated on the first day of the Hindu solar calendar. It is also celebrated with pana, a refreshing sweet drink, and is believed to herald the arrival of summer.

It is traditional for people to clean their homes, wear new clothes and offer prayers to Lord Jagannath, the presiding deity of the famous Jagannath Temple in Puri, during the festival, which is a time of renewal and new beginnings. The festival also emphasises the value of cooperation and camaraderie within the community, as people come together to participate in folk dances and share the Pana drink.

Pana Sankranti celebration

In the Odia Hindu tradition, Pana Sankranti is significant as the birthday of the revered Hindu deity Hanuman, known for his unwavering devotion to Lord Rama. Temples dedicated to Hanuman, Shiva and Surya are worshipped on this auspicious occasion. Devotees also visit temples dedicated to Goddess Devi, such as Taratarini Temple and Sarala Temple, where special rituals such as fire-walking festivals and Patua Yatra are held.

Various local festivals are celebrated in different parts of Odisha, such as Chadak Parva and Meru Yatra, marking the culmination of the month-long celebrations. The day also sees the introduction of the new Odia calendar or Panjika, which serves as an almanac of Hindu festivals and auspicious dates for the year. Bela Pana, a festive sweet drink made from milk, bel fruit and spices, is shared across the state to mark the occasion, accompanied by the ritual of Basundhara Theki, where water is poured from an earthen pot onto a sacred basil plant.

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