Odisha: People set afloat miniature boats to mark Boita Bandana

odisha people set afloat miniature boats to mark boita bandana – The News Mill

ANI Photo | Odisha: People set afloat miniature boats to mark Boita Bandana

People set afloat miniature boats on Monday morning here to mark Boita Bandana, a boat festival to commemorate the maritime glory of Odisha. It is observed every year on Kartik Purnima.
On the full moon day in the holy month of Kartik, the air is filled with the spirit of Boita Bandana, celebrated by setting afloat miniature boats to mark the day. Boita Bandana usually falls in October or November. The festival commemorates the ancient maritime activities and trade relations of Odisha with Southeast Asian countries.
This historical event is commemorated by the symbolic act of floating miniature boats made of banana stems, paper, and coloured cloth in water bodies like rivers, ponds, and the sea. The ritual pays homage to the rich maritime history of the region and the brave sailors who ventured into the sea for trade.
The festival is rooted in the historical significance of Odisha as a major maritime power in ancient times. On the auspicious day of Kartik Purnima, the decorated miniature boats are set afloat with offerings of lamps, flowers, and prasad (sacred food) as a gesture of remembrance and gratitude to the sea god Varuna. The act is not just a ritual but a reflection of the resilience and adventurous spirit of Odisha’s ancestors who ventured into the unknown waters for commerce and cultural exchange.
It is believed that merchants used to set sail on Boitas to trade with countries like Java, Sumatra, Bali, and Indonesia. Boita Bandana is a way for the present generation to connect with and honour this seafaring legacy.
The atmosphere is filled with a sense of nostalgia and reverence for the ancestors who contributed to the maritime heritage of Odisha.
In addition to the traditional aspect, Boita Bandana has taken on a cultural and social dimension, with various cultural events, fairs, and processions being organized to mark the occasion.
The festival serves as a reminder of Odisha’s historical ties with other maritime civilizations and promotes a sense of cultural pride and unity among the people

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