The Oriya/Odia New Year is celebrated on Pana Sankranti or Maha Vishuva Sankranti.The day is also known as Mesha Sankranti.Pana Sankranti/Maha Vishuva Sankranti is similar to the New Year festivals observed in other states in India such as Baisakhi (Punjab), Bihu (Assam), Juir Sheetal (Mithila), Naba Barsha (Bengal), Bisu Parba (Tulu Nadu region in Karnataka), Vishu (Kerala), and Puthandu (Tamil Nadu) . As the day marks the beginning of the New Year in the traditional Hindu Solar Calendar, so it is celebrated as New year. On this day the sun enters the sidereal Aries or Mesha Rashi.
On this special and auspicious day, a small pot filled with pana or a sweet drink of Mishri and water is hung on a basil (Tulsi) plant. There is a hole at the bottom of this pot which allows the water to fall from the pot, representing rain. The flour of horse Gahama Chhatua, is consumed by the people of Odisha after offering it to the Tulsi plant/Maa Brundabati. The Devi/Goddess temples of Cuttack Chandi, Biraja, Samaleswari temple and Sarala become crowded for the famous Jhaamu Yatra which is called Chadak Parva in Northern Odisha and in Southern Odisha the day is celebrated as the end of month-long Danda Nata and the final ceremony is known as Meru Yatra. People all over the state worship Hanuman on this day and celebrate it as his birthday. People enjoy chhatua and Bel Pana with great pleasure.Let’s celebrate the special day with Bela Pana, Chatuaa.