Mayurbhanj & Keonjhar Districts, Orissa
Lord Shiva & Goddess Hingula or Mangala
Participants Are Known As
Bhokta or Bhakta
In some areas especially in Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar districts of Orissa of flying festival popularly known as "Uda
Parab' is experiential. The participating devotees of this festival are called "Bhokta" or 'Bhakta'. As in similar other festivals, almost all the devotees belong to the low-caste Hindus.
In a village field a long staff is fixed horizontally on a vertical pole. The
Bhoktas, after having the ceremonial bath and other rituals in a nearby river, move dancing in a procession to this place accompanied by a cheering crowd and loud beating of drums. There a huge congregation enthusiastically awaits their arrival.
Then, one by one, they are tied to the horizontal staff with a long cloth at the shoulders. Ankle-bells are fitted on their feet. Some devotees are not joined. They simply hold on the staff with one hand and move hanging. With the help of a rope fixed to the perpendicular staff they are moved round and round by a person below.
Profusely decorated, the Bhokta flying at a height throws flowers from his garlands and green mangoes to the on looking audience below, who collect them with great enthusiasm as precious possession. After this ceremony the
Bhoktas go to the nearby temple and offer offerings and prayers to lord Shiva and Goddess
Hingula or Mangala.