• Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Telegram
  • Youtube
  • otv
Sharmili Mallick

Bhubaneswar: Religious dips, kites, makara chaula and other delicacies marked the celebration of Makar Sankranti in Odisha today. A pan-India solar festival called by different names, Makar Sankranti is the first major festival after the New Year celebrations.

The festival marks the transition of the Sun into the zodiac sign of Makara (Capricorn), its northward movement (Uttarayan Yatra) following which the duration of daylight goes on increasing.

Temples across the State most importantly Puri Srimandir, Lingaraj Temple, Cuttack Chandi and others decked up for the special day witnessed huge crowd as devotees in large numbers thronged the shrines to offer prayers and seek blessings for the family.

Special rituals like ‘Makara Chaurashi Besha’ of Lord Jagannath and his siblings were conducted at Puri Srimandir. On this day, the Holy Trinity wear a unique headgear called Makar Chula.

People from several parts of the State visited Hattakeswar Mahadev at Atri village in Khurda to witness Makar Mela on the occasion. Childless women take bath in the nearby Atri hot spring with the belief that it will help them in attaining motherhood.

“I have heard that taking bath in the Atri Hot Spring on Makar Sankranti helps in attaining motherhood,” said a woman from Jatni who reached Atri for taking the holy bath.

Apart from religious obligations, delicacies like sooji pitha,’ ‘podo pitha’, ‘arisa kakra’ and ‘kakara pitha’ is prepared in every Odia household on this day. ‘Mudhi Muan’, a ladoo made with puffed rice and jaggery is also prepared to commemorate the festival.

Another special dish, ‘Makara Chaula’, prepared by mixing newly harvested raw-rice, banana, coconut, sugar, ghee and species is prepared in most of the households which is offered to the presiding deities and later, it is distributed as prasad among family members and friends.

To make this day even more joyous, people fly kites as a ritualistic part of the celebration. Kite flying competition is also held at several places during the occasion.

Similarly, colourful rangoli, traditional bonfire and cultural shows marked the three-day Pongal festival celebrated by the Telugu community in many parts of the Odisha especially the Southern districts.

Noted personalities cutting across all quarters of society expressed their hearty greetings to the people of the State on this special day.

Other Stories