“Danda Nacha” is very popular festival in various parts of Odisha including Brahmapur, Rayagada etc . Danda Nacha is also known as the ‘Danda Jatra’, it happens to be one amongst the most ancient form of histrionic arts of the state.Associated with ritualistic services, Danda Nata forms an institution of dance, music and dramatics blended with religions, social reformation and an association of Universal Brotherhood.
Danda Nata is performed in the month of Chaitra(March and April). Though the name is Nrutya or dance, it is basically observation of religious fast for a period of 21 days by devotees for fulfillment of certain cherished desire. Danda Nacha is a robust show of devotion to Lord Shiva and Goddess Kali.
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This dance festival is regularly held by an old traditional orgnaizaion ‘Danda’. People also celebrate Danda Brata Rudrakali Brata, Rudrakali fasting, Mesu along with Danda Nacha Jatra which are very popular among local audiences. The participants are known as the ‘Bhoktas’.
All the `Bhoktas` lead a very pious life for all these days during the festival and they avoid eating meat, fish or cohabiting during this period.
Also Read: Shastriya Odia Bhasa Divas