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Chitou Amavasya – a festivity of Jagannatha Temple

Chitou Amavasya is a popular festival that is celebrated in the world famous Jagannatha Temple located in Puri, in the state of Orissa, in India. The principal deity of this temple is Lord Jagannatha.

This festival is locally known as Chitalagi. It falls on the new full moon day of the Sravana month according to the Hindu traditional calendar. It falls in the month of August according to the English calendar.

The people of Odhissa strongly believe that the presiding deity of Orissa is Lord Jagannath. Therefore, most of the Oriya households devotionally follow the festivals of Lord Jagannath according to the regional traditions and cultures. In the temple of Jagannatha, on this particular auspicious day, the principal deity largely bears a golden mark which is known as ‘chita’ on the forehead.

It is to be highly noted that a special variety of rice-cake locally called as “Chitou Pitha”, a food-offering is offered to the deity. This particular variety of food for offering to Lord Jagannatha is deliciously prepared in each and every household of the coastal districts residents in Orissa.

In the villages and small towns of Orissa, this particular festival is observed locally as an agricultural festival. The paddy fields are worshiped by the farmers on this occasion. In the early morning, the family members take a purificatory bath. Then they wear new clothes and go to their respective paddy fields. They wholeheartedly carry with them milk, flowers and cakes. They together pray the fields in order to have better yield of crops. 

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