The word Chita in fact means decoration of forehead with special materials like chandana, musk and gorachana etc. But in Sri Jagannath Temple, Puri three magnificent Chitas (ornaments of the foreheads) made of gold, diamond, sapphire and emerald are put on the three principal deities on Sravana Amabasya. This ritual is celebrated as “Chitraka Parba” ( Subarna Chita Lagi Anusthan – Rahu Rekha Lagi Anusthan ) in Jagannath temple. Connected with this is the decoration of Rahu Rekha. It is also an ornament of the head. This is removed from the head of the deities on the day of Snana Purnima and is again put on in the month of Sravana.
A special variety of rice-cake known as ‘Chitou Pitha’ is being offered to the deity. It is in the primitive tradition to appease evil powers through worship whether they are animals, serpents, insects or plants. People worship and pray them to avoid their wrath. Therefore, during the festival the pilas (one species of molluscs) is appeased as a female form of evil power known as ‘Gandeisuni’ (Genda means Pila). The farmer girls go to the fields and while offering cakes pray. “Oh; Gandeisuni, be appeased and do not cut the legs of my father or brother who will be working in this field”.Shrabana Masa Shrabana Month Sravana Amabasya