Time: On the full moon day in the Hindu month of Jyestha
Location: Jagannatha Temple, Puri
Dedicated to: Lord Jagannatha
Significance: It celebrates the birthday of Lord Jagannath
Snana Yatra, also known as the Jagannath Snana Yatra, is usually held on the full moon day in the Hindu month of Jyestha. It is organized as a celebration of the birthday of Lord Jagannath. Snana Yatra is believed to be one of the oldest festivals of Orissa and is celebrated in most of the shrines in the state. However, the celebrations in Puri take place on a much larger scale. On this occasion, the idols of Lord Jagannath, Goddess Subhadra, Lord Balabhadra and Lord Sudarsan are brought out of the Jagannath Temple of India.
Thereafter, they are taken, in a holy procession, to the Snana Vedi, where they are to be given the ritual bath. As per the Skanda Purana, when Raja ‘Indradyumna’ installed the deities in the Jagannath Temple, he organized this bathing ceremony. Since that time, the ceremony is organized every year, in the honor of the Lord. The Suaras and Mahasuaras go to the Suna Kua (Golden Well), in a ceremonial procession, to fetch water in 130 vessels of copper and gold, which are then preserved in the Bhoga Mandap.
This water is then purified by Palla pandas (a class of Brahmin priests), with Haridra (turmeric), Java (whole rice), Benachera, Chandan, Aguru, flowers, perfumes and medicinal herbs. The bathing ritual takes place on Purnima Tithi, early in the morning. The vessels filled with the purified water are carried from Bhoga Mandap to the Snana Vedi by the Suaras. All the idols are covered in silk cloth and smeared with red powder, after which they are bathed with water of 108 gold vessels, amidst the chanting of mantras and blowing of conch shells.