Bada Badua ho – Diwali in Odisha – ବଡ଼ ବଡୁଆ ହୋ!

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“Bada Badia Ho, Andhare Aasi aalue Ja , baisi pahache gada gadau thaa” – this is a auspicious odia festival called as “Dipabali” which means “oh our ancestors, seers and gods you came on the dark night of Mahalaya, and now it is time for you to depart for heaven, so we are showing light, may you attain peace in abode of Jagannath & May you attain salvation on the 22 steps of the Jagannath temple of Puri “. Dipabali is the “festival of lights”, is a five-day Hindu festival which starts on Dhanteras, celebrated on the thirteenth lunar day of Krishna paksha (dark fortnight) of the Hindu calendar month Ashwin and ends on Bhaubeej, celebrated on the second lunar day of Shukla paksha of the Hindu calendar month Kartik. Dhanteras usually falls eighteen days after Dussehra. In the Gregorian calendar, Diwali falls between mid-October and mid-November. All the members of the Odiya family hold a bunch of jute stick in their hands and lit them from the fire from main diya i.e. the diya kept over prasad and raise the bunch towards the sky chanting the above verse.

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The bunch of jute stick will have some “duba , bara koli patra , fula , etc ” after that it will fire by the help of diya and this time all will call “Bada Badia daka , which is “Bada Badia Ho, Andhare Aasi aalue Ja , baisi pahache gada gadau thaa ” which means oh our ancestors, seers and gods you came on the dark night of Mahalaya, and now it is time for you to depart for heaven, so we are showing light, may you attain peace in abode of Jagannath & May you attain salvation on the 22 steps of the Puri Jagannath temple , Odisha.

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Diwali is celebrated with great joy. Rows of oil lamps, candles adorn the thresholds of all houses. Firecrackers are burst, sweetmeals are relished and distributed. Some people also worship family goddess. Tarpanam is done in the morning of diwali. All the members of the household gather together just after dusk. A rangoli(Muruja) of a sailboat is made on the ground. The boat has seven chambers in north, ten chamber in east, and twelve chamber in south.the east chamber are meant for gods.north chamber for seer or Rishi and south chambers for manes and forefathers. Over the drawing of each different chamber several items are kept – cotton, mustard, salt, asparagus root, turmeric, sweets, cakes and a wild creeper. Over the central chamber are the offerings meant for [prasad]. Perched over the prasad is a jute stem with a cloth wick tied around the edge. It is lit at the beginning of the puja.

All members of the family hold a bundle of jute stems in their hands, Lighting their respective bundles from the flame on the rangoli, they raise them skywards to their forefathers chanting: Badabadua ho andhaara e asa Aluaa e Jaao Baaisi pahacha e Gadagadau thaao (meaning-oh our ancestors, seers and gods you came on the dark night of Mahalaya, and now it is time for you to depart for heaven, so we are showing light, may you attain peace in abode of Jagannatha).