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Panchaka (ପଞ୍ଚକ)

Pachaka (Odia: ପଞ୍ଚକ or ପଞ୍ଚୁକ) refers to a five days festival celebrate in Kartika Masa (October-November). Kartika Masa is a month in Odia Callender. In this month, people used to eat veg food only. The period of this month is considered from Kumara Purnima to Rahasa Purnima. The last 5 days of Kartika Masa is known as Panchaka. Pancha means five, that's why it is called so. 

It starts from the Sukla Paksha Ekadasi (11th day from Kalipuja or the Dipabali Amabasya) and ends on the 15th day or the Purnima. The Purnima is also known as Rahasa Purnima. In the maritime history of Odisha, this Purnima is known the day when the Odia Sea traders (Sadhabs) were starting their journey to sail off to distant islands like Sinhala (Sri Lanka), Jave, Sumatra, Maladeepa, Bali, Indonesia etc. Those boats are called as Boita. That's why their wives worship the ships or boats through which they travel in the sea. They were giving them a hearty send-off on this day. Now-a-days, there is no journey to the islands, but people till now worshipping the boat to remember those days. This is called as Boita Bandana. Cuttack Bali Jatra is based on that history. 

In Panchaka, there is a ritual to wake in the early morning and have a visit to the nearest temple. There is another ritual to decorate the Tulasi Chaura and its side with different types of colours. This process is called as Muruja

* These photos are taken by Ganeswar Nayak sir, Rakesh Kumar Sahu sir, Satya Sundar Das and one of our friends.

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