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Rekha Panchami in Orissa – Raksha Panjami

Rekha Panchami, also known as Raksha Panchami or Rakhya Panjami, is observed in Orissa and is dedicated to Batuk Bhairav – an incarnation of Lord Shiva. In 2017, the date of Rekha Panchami is August12. The festival is observed for protection from wild animals and is also dedicated to Lord Ganesh. Rekha Panchami is observed on the fifth day of the Krishna Paksha of Bhadraba month.

On this day, paintings of Batuka Bhairav or Bhairab, Ganesh and Mahadeb (Shiva) is drawn on doors of homes. Some people draw the picture of Nandi the vehicle of Lord Shiva on the back door. A prayer (invocation) to Lord Shiva is written on palm leaf and is hung on the top of the door. Along with the palm leaf, kusha grass and a small packet of rice also hung on the door.

At night there is a ritual of making small offerings to wild animals and snakes.