The markets on Sunday were chock-a-block with mothers making special purchases for ‘Pua Juintia’. The festival celebrates the special bond between mother and the children.
Monday will see mothers across Western Odisha fasting the whole day without water for the wellbeing of their children. They would worship Lord Dutibahana in an open space splendidly decorated with Aam Taran (mango leaves) and flowers. The offerings include 108 duba (strands of green grass), 108 unbroken arua rice (non-boiled rice), the juinta (thread), jugar (made of puffed paddy) and tikhri (made of moong dal).
The special festival of Western Odisha also known as ‘Dutibahana Osha’ is observed on Ashwina Krushna Pakhya Astami (eighth day of dark fortnight of Ashwina month as per the Odia calendar)
After a holy dip in a nearby river or water body, the mother breaks her fast, the next the morning, after tying the juintia on the wrist of the children.
She also prepares a special dish from 21 types of vegetables and fruits, as mentioned in the mythology.
Legend has it that a woman failed to bear a child long after her marriage while her sister had several sons. After several futile attempts to kill her nephews, the envious sister finally succeeded in chopping off the bodies into pieces. But the separated limbs turned into 21 varieties of fruits and vegetables including coconut, sugarcane, peas, maze, pumpkin and apple. Later she regretted her action and prayed to Lord Dutibahana for forgiveness.
She was then blessed with seven sons.