Raksha Panchami is a significant festival in many states of India dedicated to Lord ‘Batuk Bhairav’, an avatar of Lord Shiva. The festival is celebrated with full pomp and show mainly in the state of Odisha. It is also popularly known as ‘Rekha Panchami’ or ‘Rakhya Panjami’. Raksha Panchami falls on the ‘Panchami’ (5th day) tithi of the ‘Krishna Paksha’ (the waning phase of moon) in the ‘Bhadarva’ month of the Odia calendar. In the traditional Hindu calendar, it is celebrated on the ‘Krishna Paksha Panchami’ of the ‘Shravan’ month. On Raksha Panchami devotees also worship Lord Ganesha and this festival is mainly observed for the safety of humans from wild animals.
Significance Of Raksha Panchami
Raksha Panchami holds special significance for the residents of the tribal area of Odisha. It is observed to get freedom from ‘Mruga’ and get protected from attacks of wild animals such as tigers, wolves, wild dogs etc. Then there’s a unique ritual where a line (Rekha in Hindi) is drawn on the doors of every house to stay safe from wild animals. Raksha Panchami is also observed with great pomp and show in other states of the country. It is said that sisters who’ve missed tying rakhi to their brothers on Raksha Bandhan day due to some reasons can perform the ritual on the auspicious Raksha Panchami.
Flowers, fruits, sandalwood, Incense sticks, Ghee or oil lamp, Betel Leaf, Milk, Turmeric, coconut
Raksha Panchami Rituals
The devotees get up early in the morning, take a bath and wear fresh clothes. Then they start the preparation for the puja. On the Raksha Panchami puja day, the paintings or images of Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesha and Batuka Bhairav are drawn on the doors of every house. Some devotees even paint the picture of Nandi, Lord Shiva’s vehicle on the back door. Then there’s a small ritual where the devotees write a little prayer on a palm leaf to Lord Shiva and hang it on the uppermost part of the front door. A small packet of rice and kusha leaf are also hung on each door, along with the leaf. There’s also a unique ritual observed on Raksha Panchami in which the devotees offer food to snakes and other wild animals.
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