Bhubaneswar/Puri: People today celebrated auspicious Makar Sankranti with traditional fervor and much enthusiasm after two years of Covid-19 hiatus.
Makar Sankranti is also called Uttarayan. This is the special day when the Sun travels from South to North.
According to Hindu scriptures, Makar Sankranti is an auspicious occasion when the Sun traverse into zodiac sign Capricorn, which is controlled by the Saturn.
As the Sun transits into Capricorn (Makar rashi), people takes holy dip in sacred rivers and visit temples to offer prayers on the special occasion of Makar Sankranti.
Special rituals are also performed at Srimandir in Puri on Makar Sankranti. Today, ‘Makar Chaula’ a special item prepared with new raw rice, was offered to Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra and four Digapalas.
Thousands of devotees thronged the Jagannath Temple in Puri to have darshan of deities in ‘Makar Besha’ on Makar Sankranti. For the special attire, the Jagannath Ballava Mutt provides garlands of colourful flowers and holy basils to the temple.
On the other hand, huge crowd was seen at Atri hot spring in Khordha district, Chandrabhaga in Konark in the morning.
As the Sun started its annual shift towards the Earth’s northern hemisphere, people thronged Konark to worship the Sun by taking a holy dip in sea at Chandrabhaga beach.
On the auspicious day, the kite-flying competitions have been organised in places like Cuttack and other towns with fun and enthusiasm.
The Makar Sankranti is also observed as the harvest festival. In Ganjam district, which has a sizable Telugu population, people decorated the front of their houses with colourful rangoli and celebrated Pongal.