Khudurukuni Osha is observed in Odisha on the Sunday’s in the month of Bhadrab (August – September) by unmarried girls. Also known as Bhalkuni, it is mainly observed in the coastal districts of Odisha. Goddess Maa Mangala (Durga) is worshipped on the day.
Khudurukuni Osha rituals are based on the legend of a young girl named Taapoi. She had to undergo sufferings in the hands of her sister-in-laws when her brothers were on a sea journey. Therefore there is a belief that the ritual is observed by women for the safe return of their relatives (brothers) who venture into the sea.
Khude Bhaja or Khuda, which is fried left out particles of rice, are offered to Goddess Durga. ‘Khudurukuni’ means one who is very eager for khuda. Other offerings that are made are Kantiali Kakudi (a type of thorny Cucumber), Lia (fried paddy), Ukuda (fried paddy sweetened by molasses) and coconut. It is said that the young girl Taapoi survived on Khuda after her brothers left. She was given nothing else to eat.
After early morning bath, unmarried women and girls collect flower and worship Goddess Durga by making small mounts of clay. In some regions, the place where the paddy is pounded in a village is cleaned and smeared with cow dung. Alpana or Jhoti designs are drawn on the floor. An image of the Goddess is installed and the pujas and rituals begin in the evening.
After pujas and rituals episodes from the life of Taapoi is sung by the girls. The first episode narrates the story of Goddess Durga defeating Demon Mahishasura. The second Taapoi episode narrated is the story of the young girl Taapoi who was mistreated by her sisters-in-laws when her sailor brothers were away.
Read about Makar Sankranti.