Bhubaneswar, Dec 5: Prathamastami stands as a beloved festival in Odisha, revered for fostering the prosperity and longevity of the firstborn in each household. Rooted in age-old customs, prayers are fervently offered to shield the child from negative forces. The celebration unfolds with the eldest child being bestowed new dresses and a delectable sweet delicacy known as enduri pitha.
Prathamastami is celebrated on auspicious Ashtami of the Margashira month, following the eighth day of the sacred Kartik Purnima. This significant day, also recognized as Saubhagini Ashtami, Kaal Bhairav Ashtami, and Papanashini Ashtami, organizes a quintessential Odia ritual dedicated to the well-being and affluence of the eldest child.
During the ceremonial proceedings, the senior female members of the household honor the firstborn through a ritualistic Arati, wherein the mother and relatives partake in venerating the child. The maternal uncle contributes essential items for the rituals. Deities such as Lord Ganesha, Goddess Shashti Devi, and the familial presiding deity receive homage on this sacred occasion.
The firstborn, often regarded as the rightful heir to the family's legacy, values, and responsibilities, becomes the focal point of this celebratory event.
Furthermore, the festival coincides with a period when abundant harvests are reaped. The farmers, buoyed by the prosperity brought forth by a fruitful harvest, consider this time of the year exceptionally auspicious. This correlation underscores a recurring theme in traditional Odia festivals, wherein each celebration intertwines with notions of prosperity and goodwill.