Bhubaneswar: The ritual of siblings getting together and celebrating Raksha Bandhan witnessed a digital revolution in Odisha this time with many brothers and sisters adopting virtual platforms in view of the safeguards necessitated by COVID-19 pandemic.
Unlike yesteryears, the usual pomp and extravaganza was missing this time during the festival, symbolizing love and affection between a brother and his sister, as people chose to abide by COVID-19 protocols, including social distancing.
Online celebrations appeared to have emerged as a popular choice across the state with many people adopting e- rakhis and live videos through digital platforms.
Most of the siblings chose to place online orders instead of visiting markets to purchase rakhis while prolonged lockdowns also kept the pre-festival business dull. Many people sent rakhis through post or courier service.
Meanwhile, Odisha Governor Ganeshi Lal, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Union ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and Pratap Sarangi greeted the people on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan.
Extending warm greetings to the people, the governor in a message said, the festival and the message it conveys are significant for all.
“Heartiest greetings and congratulations to all on the occasion of the holy Ghama or Rakhi Purnima. May this sacred bond be further strengthened by the message of peace and friendship with the blessings of Lord Jagannath,” Patnaik said.
Greeting people on the occasion, Union Petroleum and Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said, Raksha Bandhan is a symbol of affection and love between brothers and sisters.
Union Minister of state for MSME, Pratap Sarangi said, the sacred festival of Raksha Bandhan is dedicated to unlimited love and affection between a brother and his sister.
Among others, BJP national vice-president Baijayant Panda and Odisha Congress unit President Niranjan Patnaik have also extended their best wishes to the people on the occasion.
The festival has added significance in Odisha as it is celebrated as Gamha Purnima, which marks the birthday of Lord Balabhadra.
On this day, Goddess Subhadra ties the thread of love on her two brothers – Lord Balabhadra and Lord Jagannath – at Sri Jagannath Temple in Puri.
Globally acclaimed sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik created a mural on Puri beach as a tribute to Covid warriors on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan, saying they have been fighting the war against coronavirus to save the people.
“Lets celebrate this #RakshaBandhan with #CovidWarriors, those are working tirelessly day and night for us, he said in a Twitter post.