In some areas especially in Mayurbhanj and
Keonjhar districts of Orissa
of flying festival popularly known as "Uda Parab' is observed. The
participating devotees of this festival are called "Bhokta" or
'Bhakta'. As in similar other festivals, almost all the devotees belong to
the low-caste Hindus.
A Dancing Procession
In a village field a long staff is fixed horizontally on a perpendicular pole. The Bhoktas, after having the ceremonial bath and other rituals in a nearby river, move dancing in a procession to this place accompanied by a cheering crowd and loud beating of drums. There a huge congregation enthusiastically awaits their arrival. Then, one by one, they are tied to the horizontal staff with a long cloth at the shoulders. Ankle-bells are fitted on their feet.
Some devotees are not tied. They simply hold on the staff with one hand and move hanging. With the help of a rope fixed to the perpendicular staff they are moved round and round by a person below. Profusely garlanded, the Bhokta flying at a height throws flowers from his garlands and green mangoes to the on looking audience below, who collect them with great enthusiasm as precious possession. After this ceremony the Bhoktas go to the nearby temple and offer offerings and prayers to lord Shiva and Goddess Hingula or Mangala.