‘Bhai Juntia’, the celebration of the bond between brothers and sisters, was observed here on Tuesday. Women of all ages wished for their brothers’ long life and prosperity by touching their forehead with a bunch of ‘duba’ grass and a morsel of rice. The festival also presented married women with a happy opportunity to visit their father’s place.
The festival is observed every year on Durgastami. Women keep a fast through out the day. They offer special puja before Goddess Durga and prepare a bunch of grass (108 strands) and a morsel of rice on Monday. They break their fast only after the ritual.
“Brothers and sisters also exchange new clothes on the occasion. She also puts a Jiuntia (thread) on her hand, hence the name Bhai (brother) Jiuntia,” said Dilip Padhi, a local man.
“By preparing a bunch of 108 strands of duba grass, they pray for a 108-year-long life for their brothers,” said Sadananda Panda, a scholar from Sambalpur.