MAHA VISHUBA SANKRANTI IS THE TRADITIONAL NEW YEAR FESTIVAL OF HINDUS IN ODISHA :

Pana Sankranti, also known as Maha Vishuba Sankranti or Mahabisuha Sankranti, is the traditional new year day festival of Hindus in Odisha, India. The festival date is set with the solar cycle of the lunisolar Hindu calendar, as the first day of the traditional solar month of Mesha. This is identical to the amanta system of lunar month Baisakh (on purnimanta system, it is the 24th day of Chaitra). It therefore almost always falls on 14 April every year on the Gregorian calendar.   The festival is celebrated with visits to Shiva, Shakti, or Hanuman temples, as the day is considered to be the birthday of Hanuman. People take baths in rivers or major pilgrimage centers. Communities participate in mela (fairs), watch street dance or acrobatic performances. A notable climax of the social celebrations is fire-walk, where volunteers sprint over a bed of burning coal while being cheered with music and songs. Feasts and special drinks such as a chilled sweet mango-milk-yoghurt-coconut drink called Pana is shared, a tradition that partly is the source of this festival’s name. Pana Sankranti is similar to New Year festivals observed by Hindus elsewhere such as Vaisakhi (north and central India), Bihu (Assam), Pohela Boishakh (Bengal), Vishu (Kerala) and Puthandu (Tamil Nadu).

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