Kartik Purnima Celebrations in Coastal Odisha: A Tapestry of Traditions and Spiritual Splendor

Kartik Purnima, also known as Deva Deepavali, is a significant and auspicious Hindu festival celebrated across India. However, the coastal region of Odisha, with its rich cultural tapestry, adds unique flavors and traditions to this festival, making it a special affair. In this blog post, we will delve into the essence of Kartik Purnima in coastal Odisha, exploring the vibrant traditions that make this celebration a truly captivating experience.

Historical and Cultural Significance

Kartik Purnima holds immense historical and cultural significance in Hinduism. The festival falls on the full moon day in the month of Kartika (October-November), marking the end of the monsoon season. In coastal Odisha, the festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm and is deeply rooted in the region’s cultural ethos.

Rituals and Preparations

The preparations for Kartik Purnima in coastal Odisha commence well in advance. Devotees clean and decorate their homes, streets, and local temples. The markets come alive with the vibrant hues of traditional Odia fabrics, earthen lamps, and intricately crafted diyas.

One of the distinctive traditions is the preparation of ‘Akshaya Muthi,’ small decorative pots filled with grains, coins, and other auspicious items. These pots symbolize prosperity and are offered to the deities during the festivities.

Kartik Purnima at Jagannath Puri

Jagannath Puri, a sacred city on the coast of Odisha, witnesses an unparalleled fervor during Kartik Purnima. The famous Jagannath Temple, dedicated to Lord Jagannath, becomes the epicenter of grand celebrations. Devotees from far and wide gather to seek the divine blessings and witness the elaborate rituals.

The most captivating aspect of Kartik Purnima in Puri is the ‘Kartik Brata.’ Devotees observe a month-long fast and engage in spiritual practices to seek the blessings of Lord Jagannath. The culmination of this rigorous penance is marked by a grand procession known as the ‘Boita Bandana Utsav.’

Boita Bandana Utsav: Navigating the Divine Waters

Boita Bandana Utsav is a unique and visually spectacular tradition associated with Kartik Purnima in coastal Odisha. ‘Boita’ refers to traditional boats, and ‘Bandana’ means worship. During this ritual, devotees float miniature boats made of banana stems, betel nuts, and banana leaves in the water bodies as an offering to Lord Kartikeya, the god of war.

This tradition harks back to ancient maritime activities when traders and seafarers embarked on voyages during the Kartik month. The ritual is a symbolic gesture of remembering and honoring their ancestors who undertook perilous sea journeys.

The Illuminated Ghats of Cuttack

Cuttack, another prominent city in coastal Odisha, illuminates with the radiance of countless earthen lamps during Kartik Purnima. The ghats along the Mahanadi River transform into a breathtaking spectacle as devotees light lamps and offer prayers to the river goddess.

The ‘Boita Bandana’ tradition is also prevalent in Cuttack, where families gather to release beautifully adorned boats into the river. The shimmering reflections of lamps on the river create a mesmerizing sight, adding a touch of magic to the Kartik Purnima celebrations.

Music, Dance, and Cultural Extravaganza

No festival in Odisha is complete without the rhythmic beats of traditional music and the graceful movements of classical dance. During Kartik Purnima, cultural events and performances are organized, showcasing the rich artistic heritage of the region. Odissi dance, with its intricate mudras and graceful expressions, takes center stage, mesmerizing onlookers.

Culinary Delights of Kartik Purnima

The festival of Kartik Purnima is also a culinary delight in coastal Odisha. Special traditional dishes are prepared, featuring a variety of sweets and savory treats. The aroma of freshly prepared ‘Kheer,’ a sweet rice pudding, wafts through the air, tempting everyone to indulge in the festive spirit.


In conclusion, Kartik Purnima in coastal Odisha is not merely a festival; it is a kaleidoscope of traditions, spirituality, and cultural vibrancy. The celebrations in Jagannath Puri and Cuttack, along with the unique Boita Bandana Utsav, create an atmosphere of joy and devotion that lingers in the hearts of the people.

As the earthen lamps flicker along the ghats, and the rhythmic beats of traditional music echo through the air, Kartik Purnima in coastal Odisha becomes a celebration that transcends time, connecting the past with the present and weaving a tapestry of traditions that define the cultural identity of this enchanting region.

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