Lingaraj Temple – Festivals

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Festivals
The festivals of Lord Lingaraj are observed throughout the year. However, the major festivals are

1. Prathamastami
This festival is celebrated on the Krisnastami of odia month of Margasirsa. On this occasion the movable idol (Chalanti Pratima) of Lord Lingaraja, called Chandrasekhara is taken out in a gorgeous and nicely decorated palanquin from the temple, after evening Dhupa, in a procession to His uncle’s place in western side of the temple. After reahing in uncles place, the ceremonial bathing of the idol is performed on bathing altar (Snan Mandap) in the holy water of the historical  Papanasini Kunda. New clothes are offered to the deity during worship by his uncle Maitryaswara Deva and aunty Maa Kapali Devi. Thereafter the Lord will be offered Naivedya (food), followed by Bheta Aarati.  Then the deity bidding farewell to His uncle and aunty returns to the Lingaraja Temple.

2. Pravarana Sasthi
The pravarana sasthi of pravarana utsava is held on the bright half of the margasirsa. locally this festival is known as oghana sasthi. With the advent of the winter, lord Lingaraja has to be covered with new garments for which this is called pravarana utsava. The new garment is purified on the previous day in a ceremony called adhivasa.it is offered to the deity on the sixth day of the bright half of the margasirsa and it is used by him as pravarana till the Shivaratri.

3. Pusyabhiseka
This festival is performed on the full moon day in the month of pausa, when it falls with the pusya naksatra.this day is considered to be auspicious,being the birth day of lord Lingaraja.

4. Ghrtakambala ceremony
This festival is celebrated on the makara sankranti on the chaturshast tithi, the utsava vigahra of the lord is taken to makara mandapa.

5.
Magha Saptami
This festival is celebrated on the seventh day of the bright half of the month of magha and hence,it is known as magha sapthami.the day is special sacred to the sun god.on this day, the representative of Lingaraja is taken out in procession to the bhaskaresvara temple,located in Bhubaneswar.

6.
Shivaratri
The most important festival of the temple is shivarathri, sivarati or siva’s night is a popular fast and festival.In tantric literature, it is believed to be a kalaratri. It is considered to be a sacred night.It is held on the fourteenth day of the dark half in the month of phalguna.

7. Ratha Yatra
Like sivarathri, rath yatra is considered to be an important festival in the Lingaraja temple. It is celebrated in the month of Chaitra on suklastami (eight day of the bright fortnight). The ekamra purana describe this festival in twdo chapters. It was an important festival of lord Lingaraja and it is variously known in the texts as ratha yatra, asoka ratha yatra, as it was held on the asokastami day.

8.
Damanabhanjika
The festival of damanabhanjika is observed on the fourteenth day of the bright fortnigh of chaitra. The venue of the celebration is in front of the tirthesvara temple.on this day the utsava vigraha of the lord is taken to that place in a procession.

9.
Chandana Yatra
The candana yatra is held for twenty-one days from the aksaya trtiya,i.e. the third day of the bright fortnight in the month of vaisakha.every day the proxy image of lord is taken to the bindusara,where the lord enjoys the boating festival.

10. Parasuramastami
This festival is conducted on the eight day of the bright fortnight of asadha.on this day the utsava vigraha of Lingaraja is carried to the parasuramesvara temple and worshiped there.

11. Sayana Chatardasi
It is believed that siva goes to sleep on the fourteenth day of bright fortnight of asadha and hence this festival is called sayana chaturdasi.

12. Pavitraropana
While visnu’s pavitraropana is held on the twelfth day of the bright fortnight of sravana, this auspicious rite of Lingaraja is held on the fourteenth day of the bright fortnight of sravana.

13. Yama Dvitiya
The festival of yama dvitiya is celebrated on the second day of the bright half of the month of karttika.

14. Utthapana Chaturdasi
Utthapana chaturdasi is held on the fourteenth day of the bright half of kattika.it is believed tha siva goes to bed on the fourteenth day of the bright fortnight of asadha and rises up from the bed on the fourteenth day of the bright half of kartrika.

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