Famous top 10 cultural festivals of Odisha
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Odisha is a state  of famous relegious and cultural festivals observe through out the years.

Odisha is the richest state in culture and festivals in India. The topmost 10 festivals are as follows


About Odisha State in India: Odisha is the eighth largest state by area in India. It is located on the eastern side of India. Odisha is the 11th largest state by the population of India. It’neighours states are west Bengal and Jharkhand to the north and Chhattisgarh to the west. Andhra Pradesh state on the south side of Odisha. Orissa has a coastline of 485 km. Along with the Bay of Bengal. The old name of Odisha is “UTKAL”.The language of Odisha is “Odiya”.


Famous top 10 cultural festivals of Odisha.
Odisha Map in India

Odisha is rich in cultural heritage with its historical monuments, archaeological sites, traditional arts, sculpture, handicrafts, dance and music. The Odisha province was established on 1st April 1936. Bhubaneswar is the capital of Odisha.


 The Famous 10 religious & cultural festivals in Odisha are as follows.



Ratha Yatra or car festival or Chariot festival is a Hindu festival. This festival is associated with Lord Jagannath. This festival is held at Puri in Odisha state. Ratha Yatra taking place all over India as well as in the world.


Famous top 10 cultural festivals of Odisha.

This festival is celebrated on Ashadha Sukla paksha Dwitiya of Ashadha month. Ratha yatra festival begins with the idols of Lord Jagannath, along with his elder brother and sister Subhadra. They being taken out of their abode in the Jagannath temple travel to Gundicha temple. They remain there for 9 days and return back to the temple. The return trip is known as “Bhauda yatra”.


Every year the three huge new chariots are made to carry the idols during the festival. The Ratha yatra chariot construction always commences on the occasion of Akshaya Tritya. About 18 days before the Ratha yatra festival starts, the three idols are given ceremonial bath with108 pitchers of water. This celebration is known as “ Snana Yatra”.This festival happens on the full moon of Jyestha month.

The name of the Chariot of Lord Jagannath is “Nandighosh”.The chariot name of Balabhadra is “Taladhwaja” and the chariot name of Goddess Subhadra is “Darpa dalana”.The number of wheels in chariot Nndighosh is 16, In Taladhwaja it is 14, and in Darpa dalana it is 12. The height of the Chariot Nndighosh chariot is 44’2” and the chariot of Taladhoja is 43’3” whereas the height of Chariot Darpa dalana is 42’3”.The colour of the Horses in a chariot of Nndighosh is white and the colour of the horses in the chariot Taladhowaj is Black whereas the colour of horses in a chariot of Darpadalan is Red.

After the chariots the deities return to the main temple from the Gundicha temple, the deities are attired in gold ornaments and worshipped on chariots. This celebration is known as “Suna Besa” Hara Panchami is a ritual observed during the period of Ratha yatra in the Grand Jagannath temple at Puri. It is known as the ritual of Goddess Lakshami.

This celebration is held on the 5th day of Ratha yatra. During Ratha yatra, Lord Jagannath comes out on a divine outing with his brother Sri Balabhadra and Maa Subhadra along with his divine weapon Sri Sudarshana leaving behind his wife Mahalaxmi. The Goddess express his anger for the Lord. She proceeds to the Gundicha temple, the Adapa mandapa in a palanquin in the form of Subarna Mahalaxmi and threatens him to come back to the temple at the earliest.

Since Sri Jagannath is a form of Vishnu and Sri Krishna many of the rituals observed in the Puri temple are associated with events in the Life of Sri Krishna. The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKON) with its headquarters in Westbengal would organise the world’s first digital Ratha Yatra that would cover six continents during the COVID-19pandamic in the year2021.



Famous top 10 cultural festivals of Odisha.
Raja Doli in Odisha

Odisha is a land of festivals. Raja is one of the most important festivals in Odisha. This is a three-day festival to celebrate my womanhood. It take place in Mithuna Sankranti.It is believed that Mother Earth menstruates and prepare herself for future agricultural activity with the arrival of the Monsoon. In those three days, women do not work at their homes.


The first day of Raja is called “Pahalli Raja”. The second day is called “Raja Sankranti” and the third day is called “Sesa Raja”.The fourth day is called “Vasumati gadhua” or the ceremonial bath of Bhudevi. Raja festival is significant for its closeness to the agricultural community. The people of the agricultural community celebrate it for merry-making and fun by wearing new dresses.

The Raja doli is one of the main attractions during the festivals. Raja Doli decorates with rope swing with flowers leaves are made where the women and children swing the festival song. Indoor and outdoor games are also popular pursuits during the Raja festival. During the Raja festival, different kinds of “Pitha” such as commonly” Poda pitha”, “Monda pitha “Arisha pitha”&” Chakuli” have been made three days and distribute among friends and relatives.

During these three days, women are given a break from household works and time to play indoor games. Girls adorn traditional saree and play Aletha on foot. They enjoy the three days with fun and merrymaking.


3. Makar Sankranti is a relegious festival of Odisha:-

Famous top 10 cultural festivals of Odisha.
Makar Sankranti in Odisha

Makar Sankranti in Odisha celebration takes place in every district. This festival is dedicated to Lord Surya (Lord Sun).On this day Lord Sun enters into the zodiac Capricorn (Makara). At Puri Jagannath temple this festival is observed as “Uttaryan Yatra”.In this festival, the people of Odisha offers newly harvested rice to Lord Jagannath.


The preparation of the traditional dish “Makar Chaula “includes newly harvested rice, banana, jaggery, coconut, rasgula, chenna poda and Khai and various dry fruits with milk. The mixture is called “Makara Chula”.People of Odisha make different kinds of foods during this festival, they usually make Kanika rice, Dalma, Mix veg, Kheer, different kind of pithas and distribute them among friends and relatives.

 In Odisha, people of different ages fly kites during this occasion. Children also enjoying kites with adults. During the festival people of Odisha offers prayers and food to the Sun God and seek blessings for a healthy and prosperous life. Makar Sankranti is also known as Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Lohari in Punjab, Uttaryana in Gujarat, and Bhogali Bihu in Assam& Pausha Sankranti in West Bengal.



Famous top 10 cultural festivals of Odisha.
Konark Festival in Odisha

Konark dance festival is held at Sun Temple at Konark for 5 days every year in the month of December. It is one of the biggest dance festivals held in Odisha. Many celebrated dancers from all over the country perform at this place Konark.


Since 1986 this festival is organised by the Odisha Tourism & Odisha Research centre to promote the dance heritage as well as the popularity of Konark Temple and as a Tourist destination. Konark is popular for this vibrant traditional festival, scenic beauty and magnificent beaches.

During the first five days of the month of December every year, popular classical dancers gather to pay the tribute to the Sun Temple Konark. Various dance forms like Odissi, Manipuri, Bharatnatyam, Chau, Kathakali, Kuchupudi, and other Indian popular dances were performed with great enthusiasm by the renowned artists for 5 days.


5. Kalinga Mahotsav:-

Famous top 10 cultural festivals of Odisha.
Kalinga Mahostav in Odisha

Kalinga Mahotsav is fabulous of dizzying dancing, and dynamic stage presentation by the artists. It is held at the hill of the famous Pagoda. It shows cases the vibrant traditions of martial arts of India through colourful displays of dance and music.


It shows to mark the major victory of peace over the war Kalinga. Kalinga is old name Odisha. The festival is a tribute to the martyrs of the Maurya Dynasty which is celebrated by the various Martial Arts through dance & music Every year n the month of January and February a popular festival in Odisha, the Kalinga Mahotsav is organised.

It brings together the folk, classical, and martial art forms in one stage. The Kalinga Mahotsav was initiated by a famous Bhubaneswar based Italian Odissi dancer “Illeana Citarsti”. Kalinga Mahotsav represents the various forms of martial art forms. This festival is organised on the “Dhauli hills” of the district of Khodha



Durga puja is a festival, which is observed for ten days in Odisha. It is a Hindu festival which is celebrated in the month of (September –October). This festival popularly celebrates in other parts of India such as in the state of West Bengal, Bihar, Assam, and Tripura.


Famous top 10 cultural festivals of Odisha.
Durga puja in Odisha

This festival celebrates for 10 days. Durga puja coincides with the Nabarati and Dussehra celebration observed by the traditions of Hinduism. In which Ramleela dance and drama were enacted, celebrating the victory of Rama against Ravana.

The primary goddess revered during Durga puja is Goddess Durga and other major deities such as the goddess of wealth (Maa Laxmi), the goddess of music and knowledge (Maa Sarswati), the god of beginnings (Ganesh), the god of war (Kartikeya).In Odisha and West Bengal, these deities are children of the Goddess of Maa Durga.


The festival is preceded by Mahalaya, which is belive to mark the start of the Durga puja. The primary celebration takes place on the sixth day (Sasthi) and ends on the day often is called Vijaya Dashami. Durga puja is the oldest tradition of Hinduism.

 Durga puja is widely celebrated in Odisha, West Bengal, Bihar and Assam which is in the eastern part of India. It is celebrated for ten days. Streets are decorated with lights, loudspeakers, play festive songs as well as chants of priests.



Chandan yatra is celebrated at Jagannath temple at Puri. It is a celebrated 42 days long festival in Odisha. Thousands of pilgrims across the world flock to the land to be a part of the great religious festival of Odisha. The sandalwood journey held 42 days long occasion which starts on “Akshaya Tritiya”, in the month of Vaisakha.


These 42 days is observed in two parts. (1)Bahara Chandana (2) Vitara Chandana. Bahara Chandana starts from Akshaya Tritya and it s continue for 21 days. On the first 21 days, the representative idols of the main deities of the Jagannath temple as well as the five Shivalings known as “Pancha Pandava” are taken in the procession from Singhdwara to Narendra puskarini. the deities Madanmohan, Bhudevi, Sridevi and Ramakrishna participate in this yatra for 21 days.

Famous top 10 cultural festivals of Odisha.
Chandan Yatra in Odisha

The deities are taken on two boats (chapas) namely Nanda and Bhadra. Bhitara Chandana was held inside the temple for another 21 days. Instead of the daily cruises, the playful ride happens on four occasions. The Amavasya, the full moon night, the Sasthi and Ekadashi of the bright fortnight.




This festival is celebrated on the seventh day of the new moon day of Magha. This is the most popular and colourful festival of the place Konark Sun Temple. The pilgrims from different parts of India and visitors from all around the world come to observe this festival.


Famous top 10 cultural festivals of Odisha.
Magha Saptami in Odisha

Konark the black pagoda is a popular destination for worshipping Lord Surya ( SUN). The devotees take holy dip believing, it will free them from the evils as well as the physical ailments. Pilgrims have gathered at the Chandrabhaga fairground where a massive cultural fair is on.


As per the legend the son of Lord Krishna Shambhala was cured of leprosy after taking a holy dip at Chandrabhaga River on the seventh day of the bright half of Magha month. In the night the deities Trbeniswara, Isaneswara, Dakshneswara of the world-renowned Konark temple will be carried in procession to the Chandrabhaga beach for special rituals.

The devotees are already waiting for the Sunrise to take a holy dip in the Chandrabhaga Sea. After that, they visit the Nabagraha deities at the temple of Konark and start to Puri to visit Lord Jagannath.



Sital Sasthi festival is a festival of Hindu in Odisha. This festival celebrates the divine of marriage Lord Shiva with Goddess Parvati. It is observed on the sixth day Sukla paksha in the month of yestha.On the western side of Odisha state at Sambalpur, Balangir, Baragarha it is celebrated as the “Sital Sasti Yatra festival “.


Famous top 10 cultural festivals of Odisha.
Sital Sasthi in Odisha

During this festival, a family of the region is chosen to play the role of Parvati’s father and mother and they present their hands to Shiva for marriage. As Lord Shiva is known as “Swayam bhu” no one plays the role of his parents. All the normal rituals and customs are performed even for this divine marriage ceremony. The celebrations are witnessed by devotees from neighbouring states and beyond.


After the ceremonies on the following evening, the divine couple begins their journey of the town, which is known as “Nagar parikrama”.This event is also known as “Sital sushi Yatra’.Folk music, fold dance, and other forms of dance are the chief attraction of this festival. In Shiva Purana, the day of Sital sushi commemorates the marriage of Shiva & Parvati, the divine couple and it is celebrated from ancient times. This festival mainly celebrates by the Western side of Odisha.



Nuakhai or Nuankhai is the agricultural festival mainly observed by the population of Odisha. Nuakhai is observed to welcome the new rice of the season. According to the colander it is observed on the Panchami tithi of the month of Bhadraba. Nua Khai festival celebrates after one day of day after the “Ganesh Chaturthi”. Nuakhai is also called “Nua Khai parba “or “Nua Khai bhet bhat”.


Famous top 10 cultural festivals of Odisha.
Nua Khai in Odisha

The word Nua means “new “and khai means “food”. It has a big significance for farmers and the agricultural community of Odisha. It is observed by the farmers get their newly harvested rice from their agricultural field. The Nua Khai date is fixed since 1991 on Bhadraba Sukla Panchami Tithi. Currently, people worship Goddess Laxmi on the day of Nuakhai. People wear new and traditional dresses.


 Elders of the family first offer Nua to the deity and later distribute it among the family members. All family members are take blessings from the elders for happiness and prosperity in their life. People greet their relatives and friends in the afternoon.They sing and perform their traditional sambalpuri dance like Rasakeli, Dalkhai, Maelajada, Sajani and many more.

Nua Khai festival is a symbol of Sambalpuri culture and it reminds the people of Odisha of the importance of agriculture in one’s life.

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I am Ajay Kumar Patra. ( M.com & MBA-Finance) with 27years of Accounts & Taxation Experience from Large Manufacturing Units of India. In 2021 I started my own Tax consultancy firm called “Ajay Tax Consultant” to give best of my services in Income Tax, GST, Different LOAN to individual and Business person. I am also a content writer and a Blogger. "www.odiyadigitalworld.com".I have already published more than 150Blogs on Business, Finance, startups, Digital marketing & Tours & Travel for my viewers.

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