Agni Utsav is a tribal festival celebrated by farmers to predict about their crops in the coming days. It is celebrated in mid-January to mid-February by farmers of Orissa in India.
Like Lohri festival, this festival is celebrated by worshiping Agni- the fire and large bundles of dried grasses or straw heaps are burnt during this day. The farmers in Orissa believe that the direction of the straw while burning will foretell the crops in the forthcoming days. On the basis of direction of the flame following predictions are made:
1. A slant towards Westward foretells floods.
2. If the direction of the flame is in East then it indicates the entrance of salty water and high tides in the fields.
3. A slant towards the north-east predicts good crops.
Lots of preparations are done before the beginning of the festival. A week before the festival, the females begin to clean their houses and dry grass or straw collected by males. The straws are burnt in presence of all the villagers.