Sambalpur: For the first time, the fanfare associated with Sital Sasthi was missing this year as Section 144 was clamped in Sambalpur district to ensure social distancing during the famous festival to celebrate the divine marriage between Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
However, there was no let-up in the marriage rituals that began around 3 am and concluded at 4.30 am on Wednesday across shrines in the district. But the homecoming procession of the divine couple was not observed due to the lockdown.
Devotees were allowed inside shrines for “jugal darshan” of the newlywed couple from 7 am till 4 pm with strict adherence to social distancing norms.
Similarly, Lord Lingaraj’s marriage ceremony in Odisha was also a low key affair this year with tight security to ensure social distancing among devotees.