Bhubaneswar: Makar Sankranti is celebrated in various parts of India, which marks the shifting of the sun into ever-lengthening days. The festival is a seasonal observance as well as a religious celebration.
People across Odisha took ritualistic dips in rivers and visited temples on the occasion of Makar Sankranti.
Though popular known as Makar Sankranti, it is predominantly a harvest festival and celebrated throughout India, from north to south and east to west. While Makar Sankranti is most popular in West India, down south, the festival is known as Pongal and in the north, it is celebrated as Lohri. Uttarayan, Maghi, Khichdi are some other names of the same festival.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik wished the people of Odisha on Makar Sankranti.
He tweeted, “Greetings and best wishes on the auspicious occasion of Makar Sankranti. May this festival bring joy and prosperity for you and your loved ones”.
— Naveen Patnaik (@Naveen_Odisha) January 14, 2019
In his unique way, internationally acclaimed artist Sudarshan Pattnaik sculpted a sand art on the Puri beach on the occasion of Makar Sankranti and wished the people of Odisha.
Sudarshan tweeted, “My warm wishes to all on this auspicious occasion of Makar Sankranti, The Harvesting Festival of India. Happy Makar Sankranti!”.
Makar is the special prasad for Makar Sankranti. It is prepared in every temples and Odia house-hold. The rice used is preferably from the fresh harvest. There are slight variations in the ingredients depending on the regions where it is prepared.
In Odisha, people prepare Makar Chaula with uncooked newly harvested rice, banana, coconut, jaggery, sesame, rasagola, Khai/Liaa and chhena puddings for ‘naivedya’ to gods and goddesses.
People of all age group fly kites on the occasion. Along with the adults, children also enjoy flying kites and have fun on this day.
It is also a scientific reason behind this celebration. During winter, it is common for the body to get afflicted with various infections such as cold and cough. Skin also gets dry. Sun acts as a medicine and eradicates infection. By flying kites, children and adults are exposed to the sun which provides many health benefits. People do not directly face the sun while flying kites, rather their backs are towards the sun. Flying kites also makes the arm muscles stronger.
Celebrations At Jagannath Temple In Puri
Makar Niti of the deities is underway at Jagannth Temple in Puri. For the Makar Vesha of the deities, Bada Odia Matha provides garlands made of different flowers and Basil leaves.
Thousand of devotees thronged the temple for a darshan of the Lords and to partake Makar Chaula.
Special Makar Mala and Makar Tada were provided to the temple on the occasion of Makar Sankranti. A total of five Makar Tadas were brought to the Jagannath Temple from Alamchandi temple. With theses Tadas, Makar Chaula Prasad is prepared today.
Like every year, Nabanka Niti was also observed on Sunday, a day before Makar Sankranti, along with Phula Melana Niti.