16 December 2019
Puri: As the celestial sun enters Sagittarius, the people of Odisha observe Dhanu Sankranti with much joy and gaiety. This year, this auspicious day is being observed December 16.
On this day, special puja is offered in Sri Jagannath temple and ‘Pahili Bhoga’ is offered to the Trinity. As per folklore, Goddess Mahalakshmi goes to pay a visit to her father. In her absence, the mother of the Trinity, Mother Yashoda prepares special delicacies for her children, which is then offered to them in the wee hours.
“Around 27 types of delicacies comprising of different pithas are prepared for the Pahili Bhog,” informs a priest of the temple.
Dhanu Muan, a special sweet made of sweetened rice flakes is a main attraction for the devotees who flock to the temple for the bhog. This offering continues for about a month till Makar Sankranti (January 14-15).
During this period, the people refrain from anything auspicious like marriages, engagements, thread ceremonies, etc.
World famous biggest open-air theatre Dhanu Jatra is held during this period in Odisha’s Bargarh. The 11-day long Jatra showcases scenes from Lord Krishna’s birth to the death of the demon king Kansa.
Metaphorically, Bargarh becomes Mathura during this festival and river Jeera represents river Yamuna.