Samba Dashami is a distinctive festival in Odisha. On the tenth day of Shukla Paksha of Pausa Masa, it is celebrated as per the Odia calendar. The day is dedicated to the worship of Sun God. This puja believes that Sun has the power to heal diseases. This festival is observed by elderly women who worship Sun God to keep their children free from all diseases.
The belief behind the festival
The significance of Samba Dashami surrounds Samba, the son of Krishna. Samba was very notorious. Once, Samba teased Narada for his looks. The Sage Narada complained about Samba to Krishna. Lord Krishna with anger cursed him to suffer from leprosy. As the curse cannot be revoked, he advised Samba to pray to Sun God who can cure him. After twelve years of severe penance near Sun Temple Konark, samba pleased the Sun God and the holy water of the river cured him on Shukla Paksha Dashami. Since then, samba Dashami is observed in Odisha in every Odia family.
Rituals of Samba Dashami
On this day, women particularly mothers worship Sun God for the well-being and security of their children. For each child, a particular item is offered to the Sun God on the first Samba Dashami after birth in a family. The items include fruits, sweets, and cooked items. A variety of items such as Khiri, Khechudi, puri, Ghanta Tarkari, Manda Pitha, Kakara, Chhena Poda, Cheenaguda, Poda Pitha, Arisha Pitha, Chakuli Pitha, Bara, Muaan, Rasagola, Gulab jamun, Jilapi, Cheenagaja, etc. are prepared as Bhoga by mothers. All the cooked food is served on brinjal leaves, along with a bowl of turmeric water with betel leaves. The women View the Sun God through the bowl and offer all dishes to Sun God by the name of each member of the family.
On this day, women in the family wake up before sunrise. After bathing they prepare dishes such as puri, Khiri, Khechudi and mix curry, and offer them to the Sun God at sunrise.
At noon, a bowl of turmeric water along with betel leaves is taken to Chaunra and offered there. The women View the Sun God through the bowl and offer all dishes to Sun God. All the dishes are served on brinjal leaves.
In the evening, another puja as a part of Samba Dashami is observed. It is known as Mahakala puja in which Budha Chakuli is offered to Yama for the long life of family members.