Bhubaneswar: Odisha on Sunday celebrated New Year by observing Maha Vishuva Sankranti, popularly known as "Pana" Sankranti while devotees also performed pujas on occasion of the birth anniversary of Lord Hanuman.
"Special puja was conducted at Sri Jagannath Temple in Puri and the new Odiya almanac came into effect from today," said Arabinda Padhee, the Chief Administrator of Sri Jagannath Temple Administration.
Maha Vishuva Sankranti in Odisha is similar to the New Year festivals observed as `Baisakhi` in Punjab, `Chaitro Sankranti` in Bengal to ring in the first day of Baisakh and in other places. The sun enters the sidereal Aries or `Mesha Rashi` this day which generally falls on April 14 or 15.
The Odiya New Year is calculated from this day.
People use a small pot filled with "pana" or a sweet drink of Mishri and water is hung on a basil (Tulsi) plant. There is a hole at the bottom of this pot which allows the water to fall from the pot, representing rain.
The flour of horse gram chhatua, along with banana and curd, is consumed by the people of Odisha after offering it to the Tulsi plant.
All temples across the state witnessed beeline of devotees since morning to have `darshan` of the daities on the beginning of the Odia year.
Odisha Governor S C Jamir, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and leaders of different political parties greeted people on the occasion of `Maha Vishuva Sankranti` and Odia New Year.