Devotees celebrate Kartik Purnima boat festival in Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar, Nov. 21 (ANI): Hundreds of devotees celebrated the Boita Bandana ceremony (boat worshipping ceremony) here on Sunday.

The ceremony is celebrated on the occasion of the Kartik Purnima.

People gathered near the holy Vindusagar pond and floated miniature boats in the water with burning 'diyas' placed in them to symbolize voyages undertaken by their ancestors.

The day signifies an age-old tradition that is observed in the memory of those sailors who left for distant lands from Orissa.

"This festival is celebrated as a mark of remembrance to those ancestors of ours who bravely sailed to far off lands. At that time also, women used to pray for their safe return, and that tradition has continued," said Rashmirekha Sahu, a devotee.

Devotees believes that it was on this day the ancient traders embarked from Orissa on arduous sea voyages to places such as Bali, Java and Sumatra Islands in Southeast Asia.

The sea traders of Orissa had established colonies in these islands for business and commerce.

"We commemorate this occasion in accordance with our traditional rituals to pay respect to our ancestors who had sailed to Java and Sumatra to establish trade and business," said Nitai Palit, a devotee. By Sarada Lahangir (ANI)

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