Bhubaneswar: As Indians celebrated Diwali, the festival of lights on Sunday, thousands of people gathered at Jagannath temple in Puri to pay obeisance to their ancestors through the unique ritual known as "Badabadua Daka".
On the occasion of Diwali, the ritual is held the morning and continues till late evening at 'Bada Danda' (the grand road). The ritual is also performed at the villages by the members of the family.
Holding bunches of jute sticks (Kaunria) in hand, the people set fire to the sticks to invoke their ancestors to descend from their heavenly abode and visit the Earth to bless them.
The invocation process involves the chanting of prayer "Badabadua ho, andhaare aasa, aalua re jaa! (Oh hon'ble ancestors, come in darkness and go back along the lighted path!)".
The eldest male member of the family chants these lines and the other members follow him with lighted bundles of jute sticks in their hands.
"I have come Puri to pay obeisance to my ancestors and seek their blessings," said Ranjan Sahu, a native of Jagatsinghpur district.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and other political leaders wished the people of Odisha for a safe and happy Diwali.
Renowned sand artist Sudarsan Patnaik has created a sand art with a message to soldiers "Happy Diwali, You are our heroes" during the clean beach festival at Paradip beach.