The full moon day which is of Hindu month of Shravan is celebrated as Gamha Purnima. This is also the day on which Rakshya Bandhan is observed so it is also known as Rakhi Punima in Odisha.
Rakhi is also celebrated as Gamha Purnima in Odisha. On this date, all the domesticated Cows and Bullocks are decorated and worshipped. Various kinds of country-made cakes called Pitha and sweets mitha are made and distributed within families, relatives and friends.
This day is also celebrated as Gamha Purnima, the birthday of Lord Baladeva, the elder brother of Lord Sri Krishna. In Odisha/Orissa especially in Paralakhemundi, Nayagar an other parts, the birthday of Lord Baladeva is celebrated through a popular game known as Gamha-Diyan (The Gamha Jump).
Before the auspicious day, the Gamha (platform) is made of bricks, mud and grass. The middle of the platform is filled with stones to make it strong enough. It is made high upwards and low downwards making the shape of a spur. Its top looks like a tower. A short distance from the top of the Gamha, two poles are dug in opposite direction, which are connected with a bamboo stick tied to both the poles. In the bamboo stick various fruits like oranges, bananas, coconuts etc. are tied very carefully. The people one by one come with a run from the downward of the Gamha, and on reaching the top, give a jump to catch the fruits. One who touches a fruit gets an attractive prize.
The other important feature of Gamha Purnima is Raksha Bandhan. Raksha Bandhan means the bond of protection. On this day the sisters tie Rakhi on the hands of their brothers as a mark of affection. And the sisters demand protection for the lifetime from their brothers. In return, the brothers promise to take care of their beloved sisters and make them happy by offering them some gifts.
Another interesting characteristic of this festival is Jhulan Purnima. It is believed that Lord Krishna and Maa Radha enjoy the beautiful rainy season of Shravana month. The ending of this month is celebrated as Jhulan Purnima or Jhulan Yatra. Devotees decorate the idols of Radha-Krishna on a swing with full devotion.
Hence, Gamha Purnima is a festival of unity and affection. It strengthens the bonding of a sister and brother. This festival is full of spirituality, devotion and affection. And it is celebrated all over India with a great welcome.
Category: Hindu holidays
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