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Batuk Bhairav is an avatar of Lord Shiva and Raksha Panchami is dedicated to him. It is a pompous celebration in the state of Orissa. Rekha Panchami or Raksha Panjami are the other two names.
On the fifth day of the Krishna paksha or the waning phase of the Moon in the month of Bhadra month of the Oriya calendar, Raksha Panchami is celebrated. In 2021 Raksha Panchami falls on Friday, August 27.
Like all the other sacred festivals of India, even on this day devotees wake up early in the morning and finish their morning chores and begin preparing for the puja ceremony. People draw images of paintings of Lord Ganesha, Lord Shiva or Mahadev, and Batuka Bhairab on every door of the houses.
Small prayers to Lord Shiva are written by devotees on palm leaves and are hung on the topmost part of the door. Devotees also hang a packet of rice and Kusha grass on each door.
A unique ritual on this day is offerings made to Snakes and other wild animals.
The Legend says that once Krishna got hurt by a sharp weapon. On seeing this Draupadi bandaged the finger by tearing off a section of her saree. Krishna was so impressed by this gesture that he vowed to protect Pancholi from all harm in the future.
The saree was accepted by Krishna as Raksha Sutra and when the Kauravas tried to take away her dignity by disrobing her in front of her husbands in a court full of courtiers, Krishna made sure that the saree of Draupadi never ended, and thus, her honor was saved.
Therefore, as Krishna protected Panchali like a Brother protects a sister from all harm, the trend of tying Rakhi was carried forward in the present times.
Raksha Panchami or Rekha Panchami has immense significance among the residents of Orissa, especially in the tribal regions. People celebrate this Panchami to be freed from Mruga. Also, seek protection from wild animals. Rekha in Hindi means a line that is drawn on the doors of the houses to keep the households safe from wild animals and everything Evil.
On this day women are thankful to God for blessing them with their brother. It is a festival where siblings come together and spend the day with love and admiration.