Orissa’s spirit shows its best in its delicacies prepared during their festival. Highly spritual and pious towards local traditions, every festival is an occasion to celebrate and rejoice with friends, relatives and different social groups. This cultural bond is also extended to the relationship with God. No food is considered eaten unless offered to God. Good faith, grace and wealth is what is wished from their favourite Goddess Laxmi. She is prayed on the Purnima tithi of Ashwin month when the Mother Nature is at her magnificent grandeur, flow of material resources, gaiety and blooming of young hearts is at the zenith. A nightlong play of dice surrounded by good food, cloth and jovialness gives a youthful zest to Kumar Purnima.
“Chudaghasa” a scented mixture of puffed rice and coconut is offered as Prasad. Interestingly, the moon and Kartikya are also worshipped on this festival. Unmarried children of the family wear new clothes, play a game called ” Puchi” accompanied by folk songs, eat only fruits, puffed rice, coconut by looking at the moon in the sky, perform “JanhiPuja” at the Tulsi installed in their courtyard and spent the day with extreme joyous spirit.
This autumn festival is one of the most popular and important festival of Orissa. Kumar or Kartikeya, the handsome Son of Shiva was born on this day. He also became the God of war. As young girls always wish for a handsome husband, they propitiate Kumara who was most handsome among the Gods. But, peculiarly enough there is no ritual for the God, instead the Sun and the Moon are worshipped. In the early morning the girls after their purificatory bath wear new garments and make food-offerings to the Sun. They observe fasting for the day. In the evening when the moon rises they again make food offerings of a special variety and take it after the rituals are over. It is a festival of rejoicing for the girls. All of them sing and dance. The songs are of special nature. They also play a kind of game known as ‘Puchi’. They also indulge in other varieties of country-games. This day is also observed as the birth day of Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth. Therefore, many people worship the Goddess at their homes and keep themselves awake by playing Pasha (Chess), and other indoor games. Significantly it suggests that those who wish to acquire wealth should always be vigilant at night. It is for this reason the owl, the bird which sleeps in the day and comes out only at night.