Samba Dashami is a festival unique to the state of Odisha, India. It is celebrated on the 10th day of the Sukla Paksha of Pausha Masa or waxing phase of moon in Paush month (December – January) as per traditional Odia calendar. This festival is especially celebrated in the eastern part of Odisha.
According to legend, Samba, son of Lord Krishna, was afflicted by leprosy and was cured by the Sun God Surya after 12 years of penance near Konark. On this day, mothers pray to Surya for the health of their children.
On this day, female folks of the family wake up early in the morning before sun rise. After bath, they prepare variety of food items like, Khichdi, Udiya Puli, Ghadghadia Tarkari (a curry item) and offer them to Sun God during sun rise. One of the specific characters of this ritual is variety of individual food item is offered to Sun God in the name of each member of the family,especially children.
After that female folks of the families go on preparing variety of Pitha (Cake) like; Manda Pitha, Kakara Pitha, Arisha Pitha, Biri Ladoo and other items like Makar Chaula, Chhenaguda,, Dhanu Muaan, sweet dishes like Khiri, Rasagola, Jhilli, Chhenagaja, Sweet Curd etc. all over the day. In the noon time, a bowl of turmeric water with a beetle in it is taken to ‘chaura mula’.
In the evening, another Puja is observed as a part of the Samba Dasami ritual. This is ‘Mahakala Puja’, in which special Budha Chakuli is offered to Yama.