Sital Sasthi: The Divine Union Solemnised and How!

Sambalpur/Bhubaneswar: People poured in in huge numbers to witness the celestial union of Lord Shiva and Parvati as the divine marriage was solemnised with all Vedic rituals in the early hours of Monday, which marked the beginning of Sithal Sasthi Yatra in Sambalpur.

The three-long day festival, which began on Sunday night, is usually observed on the ‘Sasthi’ (6th day) during the ‘Shukla Paksha’ (the waxing phase of moon) in the ‘Jyestha’ month of the traditional Hindu calendar.

The festival saw the groom being taken to the bride’s place in a grand procession accompanied by a swarm of devotees, who stayed awake the whole night. The bride’s father or the Kanyapita gave a dowry, comprising jewellery and furniture to the groom’s family.

Deities of several temples were also invited to the wedding.

The homecoming procession of the divine couple will begin on Monday night and the festival will culminate with the entry of the divine couple into the temple on June 19 afternoon.

The Yatra in Sambalpur is being organised by Jharuapara, Mudipara, Nandapara, Badbazar and Thakurpada committees. The organising committees have install CCTV cameras during the festival and display boards mentioning ‘You are under CCTV surveillance’, as directed by Sambalpur police, to manage crowds and keep tab on anti-social activities.

Not just Sambalpur, Sital Sasthi is being celebrated with immense fervour and gaiety across the state. All the rites of a Hindu marriage are followed on the occasion.

How Sital Sasthi is celebrated?

  1. In the Sital Sasthi festival, a family is chosen to play roles of Parvati’s father and mother. They have to follow all the rituals for wedding of a bride. They offer the hand of their daughter Parvati to the Lord Shiva.
  2. The first day of the festival, which is known as ‘Patra Pendi’ day, the chosen family adopts Parvati. After two days, the idol of Goddess Parvati arrives at the house of her adopted parents.
  3. From the adopted home, the bride is taken in a grand procession for the marriage ceremony.
  4. On the other hand, the groom, Lord Shiva, goes to the house of Parvati in a baraat procession. This divine procession is lead by Lord Narsimha and Lord Hanuman.
  5. All rituals and customs are performed even for this divine marriage ceremony.
  6. Following the ceremonies, the couple starts ‘Nagar Parikrama’, which is also popularly known as ‘Sital Sasthi Yatra’.

Like any other wedding ceremony, there is much fun and celebration during this celestial union.

In Odisha capital, Lord Lingaraj’s marriage ceremony was held amid tight security on Sunday night. Sital Sasthi Yatra of Lord Lingaraj will be held on Monday. Nagar Parikrama of the newlywed couple will commence from Kedar Gouri temple.

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