Odisha observes a large number of festivals mostly associated with harvesting seasons, religion and temples. Odisha is a confluence of the Aryan, Dravidian and aboriginal cultures, thus celebrations bring forth a grand collage of different rituals and traditions. There is no better evidence for this relition-spiritual yearning in its popular form than a fair or festival virtually every month in different parts of Odisha. The car festivals, yatras, melas, pujas and bratas or oshas involve mass participation, spread throughout the year. Innumerable folk traditions and spirits are manifested by way of observing vratas or oshas by Hindus in Odisha. The observance is believed to resist the materialistic aspects of human life, augment belief in religion, human life, augment belief in religion, bring welfare, prosperity and long life to the near and dear ones, recovery from ailments, beget a good match, and may be a bumper harvest. most of these observations are marked by a spirit of sanctity, worship and painting of walls and floors with rice paste.
Makara Mela: Also popularly known as Makar Sankranti, the Sun God is worshipped with great fervour and enthusiasm all over. It coincides with the end of harvest season and when the sun enters the orbit of Capricorn. The Chilika Lake is the focus of attention where pilgrims congregate to leave food offerings Goddess Kalijai.
Magha saptami: This occasion falls on the 7th day of the Magha when thousand of the Magha when thousands of pilgrims swamp to take a holy dip in the Chandrabhaga near Konark. Prayers are held to the rising sun. Khandagiri, near Bhubaneswar is also the venue of a week long grand fair.
Dola: Essentially a festival of colours, also known as Holi, it is a 5 day long celebrations especially in the rural areas of Odisha. It starts on Phalguna Poornima day, marding the beginning of the spring season. The idols of Krishna and Radha in decorated vimana are carried on shoulders from house to house to the chants of devotional hymns. The festivities culminate a day after poornima when people throw colour water and abir and gulal on each other. Cattles are bathed, anointed with vermilion, garlanded and fed sumptuously on this occasion.
Ashokastami: Celebrated on the 8th day of the month of Chaitra, it is the car festival of Lord Lingaraj at Bhubaneswar. The deity is taken out in a chariot from the main temple to Rameswar Temple at the Bindu Sagar and returns after a 4 days stay.
Durga Puja: The annual 9 day festival keeps the tradition of worshipping Goddess Durga alive with vigour and devotion. Huge pandals are set-up housing the idol of Goddess Durga. The day after Dussehra or Dashmi marks the end of the puja festivities. The deities being carried in splendid processions with attractive backdrops, the huge flags of different hues and the frenzied processionists dancing to the beat of drums and music are a treat to watch. After bidding adieu to Durga on Dshmi the city gets ready to welcome Lakshmi and colourful pandals are constructed to attract both devotees and revellers.