Byanjana Dwadashi


    In Context 

    • The festival of Byanjana Dwadashi is a great step towards promoting food security
      • It ended in Odisha’s temple town of Puri a few weeks ago.

    About Byanjana Dwadashi

    • It is celebrated by adherents of Vaishnavism, the largest sect within Hinduism, which considers Vishnu and his incarnations such as Krishna as the Supreme Godhead.
    • The festival celebrates a variety of food (Byanjana in Odia) on the 12th day (Dwadashi) of the Sukla Paksha or waxing phase of the moon in the month of Margashira (mid-December to mid-January).
    • Vaishnavites, through this festival, commemorate an episode of the Mahabharata where Yashoda observes that her son Krishna is pale and weak. 
      • It is believed that on this day Mother Yasoda used to prepare hundreds of dishes for Lord Krishna.
      • This episode was re-enacted in the Vaishnava mutts of Puri by the medieval seer and mystic, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu after he reached Puri around 500 years ago.
    • This tradition of celebrating varieties of traditional food and sharing them has been going on since then and is prevalent in the Vaishnava mutts of not only Puri and other parts of Odisha, but throughout the country.
    • The special feature of Byanjan Dwadashi at Gourbihar mutt is that every year more items are added to the menu.