Sri Nityananda Trayodashi is the auspicious appearance day of Sri Nityananda Prabhu. The Supreme Lord Sri Krishna appeared in Navadvipa as Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to establish the Sankirtana Movement (the Yuga Dharma for this age of quarrel and hypocrisy). To help the Supreme Lord in His mission, Lord Balarama appeared as Nityananda Prabhu. He assisted Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu by spreading the holy name of the Lord throughout Bengal.
Nityananda Prabhu appeared in the village of Ekachakra, in the district of Birbhum (West Bengal) as the son of Padmavati and Hadai Pandita in the year 1474 AD. He was born on the thirteenth day of the bright fortnight in the month of Magha (Magha Shukla Trayodashi). Even today pilgrims visit the place of birth of Lord Nityananda in Ekachakra. This temple is called Garbhavasa. The parents of Lord Nityananda hailed from a family of pious Brahmins originally from Mithila.
On the day of Nityananda Trayodashi, devotees fast till noon and pray to Lord Nityananda for spiritual strength. At 6:00 pm devotees assemble at the Kalyani. The utsava deities of Sri Sri Gaura Nitai are carried in a pallakki decorated with flowers, from the main temple hall to the temple pond (Kalyani). Devotees sing the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra in great ecstasy. Once the procession reaches the pond, the Deities of Gaura Nitai go for a boat ride. Devotees offer flowers to the Deities and seek Their blessings. Prasadam is distributed to all the devotees. After the nauka utsava, the Deities are taken back to the main temple in the pallakki. A grand abhisheka is performed at the main temple hall.
The abhisheka is very special. The Deities are bathed with scented water and given a sandal oil massage. After the massage the Deities are bathed with panchamrita (milk, curd, sweetened water, ghee and honey) and panchagavya. The Deities are then bathed with exotic fruit juices and water mixed with herbal extracts. The sarvaushadhi snana is followed by 108 kalasha snana and concludes with pushpa-vrishti (showering of fragrant flowers on the Deities). The Deities are offered a feast of 56 items (chappan bhog) and then they retire for the day. The Shayana Arati and Shayana Pallakki Utsava conclude the festival.