Makar Sankranti 2019 Odisha Wishes

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Makara Sankranti, also known as Makaraa Sankrānti or Maghi, is a festival day in the hindu calendar , in reference to deity sun. It is observed each year in January. It marks the first day of sun’s transit into the capricorn , marking the end of the month with the winter solstice and the start of longer days.

Makar Sankranti is known by various names such as Maghi (preceded by Lohri) by north Indian Hindus and Sikhs, Makara Sankranti (Pedda Pandaga) in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Karnataka and Telangana, Sukarat in central India, Magh Bihu by Assamese, and Pongal by Tamils.

In Makara Sankranti in odisha people prepare makara chaula (uncooked newly harvested rice, banana, coconut, jaggery, sesame, Khai/Liaa and chhenapuddings for naivedya to gods and goddesses. The withdrawing winter entails a change in food habits and intake of nourishing and rich food. Therefore, this festival holds traditional cultural significance. It is astronomically important for devotees who worship the sun god at the great Konark temple with fervour and enthusiasm as the sun starts its annual swing northwards. People of Odisha at the start of the day perform a ritual bath while fasting. Makara Mela (Fun fair) is observed at Dhabaleswar in cuttack , Hatakeshwar at Atri in khordha, Makara Muni temple in balasore and near deities in each district of Odisha. In puri special rituals are carried out at the temple of Lord Jagannath. In Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Kalahandi, Koraput and Sundargarh where the tribal population is greater, the festival is celebrated with great joy. They celebrate this festival with great enthusiasm, singing, dancing and generally having an enjoyable time. This Makara Sankranti celebration is next to the Odia traditional new year maha bishuba sankranti, which falls in mid April. Tribal groups celebrate with traditional dancing, eating their particular dishes sitting together, and by lighting bonfires.

Besides the usual rituals, people of Odisha, especially Western and Southern Orissa, reaffirm the strength of the bond of friendship with their best friends during this occasion. The practice is called ‘Makara Basma’or ‘Makara Basiba’. After a man binds himself with one of his friends in the shackles of friendship during Makar Sankranti, afterwards he addresses the other as ‘Maharshad’ or ‘Marsad’; if two women tie the friendship lace on each other’s wrist, they call each other ‘Makara’. They don’t utter each other’s name. This goes on for one full year till the next Makar Sankranti. In Eastern Orissa, on many occasions, two friends feed each other ‘Mahaprasad’, the offering made in the famous Jagannath temple of Puri, and continue the friendship for at least one year.

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