The households of KOSAL perform ‘Gun'dikhia’ ritual on the day of Phagun Puni, the full moon day in the lunar month of Phalguna when new gram, green mango, Chaar berries, Mahua and Palash flowers are offered to Goddess Laxmi, the family deity. People start eating new gram and mango while rural dwellers begin collection of Mahua flowers only after performing the ‘Gun'dikhia’ ritual. During the celebration, various traditional dishes and pancakes, including Kakra and Khiri, are prepared.
The Gundikhia ritual is also performed in Samaleswari temple, the abode of Goddess Samaleswari, the presiding deity of Sambalpur and other temples across the region.
The festival is connected with destruction of the demon Holikasura or the she-demon Holika by making a bonfire, for which the festival is called Holi. The ‘Holi Puda’ Or Huili (bonfire) ritual is performed a day before the Dol Purnima by lighting fire on a heap of wood in the night.
In rural pockets, villagers organise yagna which culminates on Dol Purnima and the rural-dwellers carrying the images of Radha and Krishna in decorated Vimana (small wooden temple like structure) move across the village. The deities pay a visit to different localities adjoining the village and receive homage and offerings from devotees. This apart, people belonging to ‘Gouda’ caste whose traditional occupation is cattle rearing, worship cattle on the occasion.
The cattle are bathed, anointed with vermilion, garlanded and fed sumptuously. They also perform Badi Khela (dancing with sticks) during the festival after the ritual of Badi puja (worship of sticks).
Main article taken from :- Indian Express (Published on 1st March 2010)