Bhubaneswar: As the month long Kartika brata began on Thursday with the beginning of the Holy month of Kartika, thousands of ‘Habishyalis’ thronged to Lingaraj temple in capital city and the pilgrim town Puri to offer their prayers and conduct rituals associated with the month.
It is believed that Kartika is the holiest month in the Hindu lunar calendar.
As per religious practices, Habishyalis refrain from eating non-vegetarian food for the whole month. Also, they renounce a number of vegetables such as different varieties of gourds, brinjal, a number of pulses and other leafy vegetables and take food only once in the afternoon which is known as ‘Habisha’. They either partake the prasad cooked in the Jagannath temple or Lingaraj temple or prepare curries out of sweet potatoes, coconut and only a few pulses allowed to be eaten.
Women in groups perform the ‘baluka puja’ in which they draw patterns out of natural powdered colour in front of the ‘tulasi choura’ and blow conch followed by ‘hulahulis’ and worship Lord Vishnu and Shiva by reading chapters from the Kartik Purana,
These rituals are observed twice a day. In the morning and also during the evening prayer.