In the Hindu month of Kartik (October - November), the city of Cuttack in Odisha celebrates a renowned festival known as Bali Jatra. The name Bali Jatra means 'A Voyage to Bali'. This popular festival of Odisha marks its beginning from the day of the full moon and continues for the next seven days at Gadagadia Ghat of the River Mahanadi where they worship the Lord Kartikeswar - the presiding deity of this festival. Moreover, through this festival, the locals also commemorate that day when sailors of Odisha first crusade to distant lands of Java, Bali, Borneo, Sri Lanka, and Sumatra. To pay their homage, regional people make the artificial boat (made up of paper, barks of the banana tree, and cork) and float it in the water. Besides, the festival also observes the tradition of lighting lamps in the boat which is called Boita Bandana. This boasts an amazing landscape of countless boats lit with lamps.
The legend of the festival says that the Odishan mariners considered the day of Poornima (full moon) highly auspicious to start any sail to distant lands. Moreover, on this day, a grand fair is also organized where more than 24 states of traditional items are kept on display. Gandi Shilpa Bazaar is another attraction of the festival that boasts around 150 stalls of handicraft items and traditional silver. Also, the concerned authority also organizes boating opportunity for the visitors which is the highlight of this beautiful festival in Cuttack.
Bali Jatra festival is observed on the day of Poornima (full moon) in the auspicious month of Kartikeya (October-November) and continues for the next seven days. In 2018, Bali Jatra will be held from 4th November to 10th November.