Mother Yashoda cooks for Lord Jagannath, brother Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra, the presiding deities of Puri, in the absence of goddess Laxmi on this special occasion during the lunar Pousha in the Hindu almanac.
“Pahili Bhoga”, will continue till Makar Sankranti day on January 14, 2020. Dhanu Muan, a sweet offering, is part of the menu of the deities during this month.
During the month-long festivity, mahaprasad, the cooked offerings, becomes more attractive and sought after. The menu list becomes large with addition of various mouth-watering dishes. Cakes made of blackgram and curd based preparations are also added t the menu during this period. Apples, oranges, grapes are added to the curd and in another dish carrots are mixed.
A remarkable feature of this period is that bhog is available early. This early day meal is known as “Pahili Bhoga” which is offered to the deities soon after the breakfast.
According to Hindu mythology, goddess Laxmi, who cooks food for Him, leaves for her parent’s place. So in her absence, mother Yashoda prepares food for her offsprings. Several special rituals are followed during this period.