Bhubaneswar: Jhamu Jatra was celebrated across Odisha in an environment of song, dance, beating of drums and gongs and chanting of hymns on Sunday. Large gatherings were found in villages and cities of the state to watch the Jhamu celebration.

“Jhamu Jatra” is the most popular festival of Goddess Mangala ( Devi Durga) which is celebrated across Odisha on the day of “Maha Visuva Sankranti or Pana Sankranti” known as Odia New Year.

Jhamu Jatra carries so much importance and curiosity because on the day of Maha Visuva Sankranti devotees walk on fire to complete their Vow (Brata). These devotees are called “Patua or holy devotee. On this day these patuas or devotees collect sacred water from river or water bodies and offer prayers to the deity to get her blessings.

The patuas have to walk on the burning wood or charcoal filled in a channel. The ritual involves the wearing picturesque costumes and dance barefoot over burning charcoals. It is believed that the blessings of the Deity save the devotees in getting hurt and injured  while walking on the fire. The patuas undergo a lot of pain and hardship to appease the Goddess, so that their desires will be fulfilled.

The Maha Vishuba Sankranti, is observed in mid-April every year. Various rites and ceremonies, such as “kirtan”, “pala” and “yagnya”, were also conducted across the state throughout the day.

Devotees were seen queued up outside temples to offer fruits and flowers to Lord Hanuman. The birthday of Lord Hanuman was observed by several organisations across the state by holding religious ceremonies with the chanting of Hanuman Chalisha.

Revellers also enjoyed the traditional flavoured beverage “pana” that was distributed for free outside various temples and at many kiosks across the state.