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Sunia Festival in Odisha

Sunia is observed in the Bhadarva month in Orissa and is considered to be the traditional New Year in Odisha (Oriya New Year) by some communities. The day is observed as Bamana Janma day or Vaman Jayanti – the day when Lord Vishnu appeared as Vamana. In 2024, the date of Sunia festival is September 6.

Sunia festival was observed mainly by Rajas and Zamindars. It is the day when they renewed the lease on the land and water body etc. The one-year lease of various types used to begin on the day. Farmers and citizens also used to pay the tax on this day to the rulers. But with the abolishment of Zamindari system in India, Sunia festival has no relevance and is ignored by majority of the people.

The festival is of great importance in Puri for the Orissa royalty associated with the Puri Jagannath Temple. Thousands of people are invited to the Puri Palace and a Mahaprasad ceremony is held on the day.