Sital Sasthi: Marriage of Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati solemnised

The marriage was solemnised like any other Hindu marriage.
File picture of Sital Sasthi in Sambalpur
File picture of Sital Sasthi in SambalpurPhoto | Express

SAMBALPUR: Festive fervour has gripped Sambalpur town where Sital Sasthi festival is being celebrated with gusto by locals.

The festival, which started four days back, saw the marriage of Lord Shiva with his consort Goddess Parvati on Monday. Thousands of people from across western Odisha gathered in town to witness the marriage of the divine couple.

The marriage was solemnised like any other Hindu marriage. The significance of the festival is that human beings play the role of parents of Goddess Parvati and offer her hands to Lord Shiva. The ceremony started with a magnificent Barayatri procession as Lord Shiva departed from the town’s temples and proceeded to Goddess Parvati’s residence. The procession saw participation of local deities, senior residents of the area and thousands of artistes.

The preparation for Sital Sasti festival starts from the auspicious day of Akshya Tritiya and funds are collected for it during a ritual called ‘Thala Utha’. The festival begins with various rituals including Patrapendi (engagement) followed by Niuta (invitation) before the sacred marriage takes place.

Around 7,000 artistes from across the country have been invited by different Sital Sasthi organising committees to the town this year. The newlyweds will embark on a grand procession through the city on Tuesday night. The festival will conclude on June 12 evening when the deities will enter the temples.

The tradition of organising the marriage ceremony of the deities started in the 17th century in Sambalpur. The divine wedding first started in Someswar Baba temple of Balibandha. Later, the festival was celebrated in Balunkeswar temple of Nandpara, Loknath Baba of Jharuapara and Jageswar Baba of Mudipara. However, now several other Shiva temples of the town celebrate the festival.

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