Pana Sankranti, also known as Maha Vishuba Sankranti or Odia New Year, is a significant festival celebrated in the Indian state of Odisha. Falling on the first day of the solar month of Meda (usually in mid-April according to the Gregorian calendar), Pana Sankranti marks the beginning of the traditional Odia calendar year and heralds the onset of the summer season. As you observe Pana Sankranti 2024, we at LatestLY, have compiled a list of food items you can add to your menu for the day. How To Make Odia Pana? Easy and Quick Way To Make Traditional Summer Drink of Odisha.

Pana Sankranti 2024 will be observed on Saturday, April 13. The festival is characterized by preparing and consuming a special drink called "Pana," made from water, jaggery, yoghurt, and various aromatic ingredients like fruits, spices, and herbs. Pana is offered to deities in temples and distributed among devotees as prasad (religious offering), symbolising sweetness, vitality, and rejuvenation. Pana Sankranti is also observed with prayers, rituals, cultural programs, and community gatherings, fostering a sense of unity, spirituality, and cultural pride among Odias as they welcome the New Year with optimism and reverence.


The namesake of the festival, Pana is a special drink made with ingredients like water, jaggery, yogurt, and various flavourings such as grated coconut, cardamom, and black pepper. It's a refreshing and nourishing beverage enjoyed during Pana Sankranti, symbolizing the onset of the summer season and the need for hydration.

Aam Panna (Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons)

Bela Pana

Bela Pana is a variant of the traditional Pana drink, prepared with ripe wood apple pulp (bel fruit), jaggery, water, and aromatic spices. This sweet and tangy beverage is believed to have cooling properties, making it a popular choice during the scorching summer days of Pana Sankranti.

Bel Pana (Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons)

Pakhala Bhata

Another staple dish associated with Pana Sankranti is Pakhala Bhata, a fermented rice dish popular in Odisha. Cooked rice is soaked in water and allowed to ferment overnight, then served with accompaniments like fried or curried vegetables, fish, and pickles. Pakhala Bhata provides a refreshing and cooling meal, ideal for the warm weather of Pana Sankranti.

Dahi Pakhala for Pakhala Dibasa (Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons)

Khira Gaintha Pitha

Khira Gaintha Pitha is a traditional rice dumpling dessert prepared during Pana Sankranti. Made with rice flour, grated coconut, khoya (reduced milk solids), and jaggery, these dumplings are steamed and then coated in a mixture of grated coconut and sugar. Khira Gaintha Pitha is a sweet treat families enjoy and offer to deities as part of the festival rituals.

Manda Pitha

Manda Pitha is a steamed rice cake filled with sweet coconut and jaggery, often flavoured with cardamom or nutmeg. These dumplings are traditionally prepared during Pana Sankranti and offered to the gods as a symbol of devotion and gratitude. Manda Pitha is also shared among friends and family as a delicious way to celebrate the auspicious occasion.

Manda Pitha (Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons)

Pana Sankranti brings a delectable array of traditional foods that not only tantalize the taste buds but also carry deep cultural significance. From the refreshing Pana drink to the indulgent delights of Khira Gaintha Pitha and Manda Pitha, these dishes symbolize the spirit of rejuvenation, prosperity, and communal celebration inherent in this auspicious festival.

Wishing everyone a Happy Pana Sankranti 2024!

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Apr 13, 2024 01:11 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website