Odan Shashti

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When the winds blowing become chilly, the sun starts to rise late and set early, and the mornings become misty and foggy, it marks the beginning of the winter season in Sridhan Vrindavan. When the number of visitors and pilgrims reduces and the temple corridors are nearly empty, the residents of the dham feel great joy to have some peaceful and private time with their Lordships Sri Gaur Nitai, Sri Krishna Balaram and Sri Radha Shyamsundar. In accordance with the chilly weather, the Lords are draped in warm woolen shawls of different colours and designs, and when the winter gets really cold, the Lords are dressed with sweaters, affectionately knitted by some matajis. The misty winter mornings have a special charm to them and feel almost unearthly, adding to the beauty of the already perfect dham. Being in the north, in accordance with the calculation of the area in this material world, the winters in Sri Vrindavan are colder than the south and started a bit earlier. However, in Puri, being a coastal area, the winter makes its presence felt a bit later, and accordingly Lord Jagannath is offered woolen cloths when it gets cold. The very first day when Sri Jagannath dev is offered a Shawl is famous as Odan Shashti. Odan means a woollen cloth which is wrapped around oneself when it is cold, and since it falls on the shashti tithi, or 6th day, of the Shukla Paksha in the month of Margashirsha, it is known as Odan Shashti.

In Sridham Vrindavan, however, the Lords are already wearing chaddars since it gets cool much earlier than Puri. The one addition that happens on this day in the service of the Lord, is the offering of Honey to Balaram. Since Honey is heating and is very dear to Balaram, everyday, for the entire winter season, honey is offered to Krishna Balaram in Vrindavan.