Pahili Bhoga which literally means the first offering of new agriculture produce of the season, was offered to the lord Jagannath in Puri temple.
As per the tradition, the deities were offered a special cake made of grams. The sweetmeats prepared from new cereals and food grains of the season were also offered.
This Bhoga offerings begins from Dhanu sankranti and continue for one month till the Makar Sankranti. A large number of devotees during this month feast on Mahaprasad, popularly known as Pahili Bhoga.
During the month-long festivity, mahaprasad, the cooked offerings, becomes more attractive and sought after. The menu list becomes large with addition of various mouth-watering dishes. Cakes made of blackgram and curd based preparations are also added t the menu during this period. Apples, oranges, grapes are added to the curd and in another dish carrots are mixed.
A remarkable feature of this period is that bhoga is available early. This early day meal is known as “Pahili Bhoga” which is offered to the deities soon after the breakfast.
According to Hindu mythology, goddess Laxmi, who cooks food for Him, leaves for her parent’s place. So in her absence, mother Yashoda prepares food for her offsprings. Several special rituals are followed during this period.