Makar Sankranti the festival of Uttarayan … Article by minakshee mahapatra
This festival is observed to mark the Sun’s transit from Sagittarius (Dhanu) to Capricorn (Makar). And the apparent movement of the Sun northwards is referred as Uttarayan. Makar Sankranti marks as the end of the winter solstice (Dakshinayan). From this day, the days slowly becoming longer.
Every region in India has its own way of celebrating Makar Sankranti.
People from Odisha celebrate Makar Sankranti with much zest and zeal. During the festival the we offer prayers and food to the lord Jagannath, god of nature Sun(Aditya) for a healthy and prosperous life.
Makar Mela (Fun fair) is a spacial source of entertainment observed during this time at Dhabaleswar in Cuttack, Hatakeshwar at Atri, Makar Muni temple in Balasore and near various deities in each district of Odisha.
Makar Chaurashi – Costume Of Lord Jagannath
Makara Chaula (ମକର ଚାଉଳ) & Pitha- Pana (ପିଠାପଣା) are made in every house. Today, the Sun enters Capricorn from Sagittarius. So today is celebrated as Makar Sankranti. On this day, Sreejiu is adorned in the guise of Makar Chaurashi in the Srimandir. In Jagannath temple at puri, the MakarSankranti festival is witnessed as UtarayanJatra( Yatra ) and UttrayanVandapana.
In Jagannath temple the trinity dressed in a costumes of Makar Chaurashi Besha, the triad wears Makara-chula (a sort of head-gear).On the Makara Sankranti day, Jagannath Mahaprabhu wears Makara-chula (a sort of head-gear). The previous day, the rice is consecrated (adhibasa) and on the festive day, coconut, clarified butter and different spices are mixed with the said rice to prepare a dish known as Makara chaula.
This food is offered to the deities as bhoga. The Makara Chaula is taken around the Temple in a procession, which is called Makara bedha. (src nirmalya.in )
People of Odisha prepare ‘makara chaula’ (newly harvested rice) with banana, coconut, jaggery, Khai/Liaa(puffed rice paddy)and chhena .As the heat of the sun would rise from this day onwards, thus makar chaula is eaten for better digestion to keep us active with the rising temperature.
Since ages kite flying has always remained a favourite hobby of people from the silver city Cuttack and the fun is doubled on the occasion of Makar Sankranti every year.
(The manjha making and competition got banned due to few unpleasant accidents)
This festival is being celebrated in almost every state of india but in slightly different fashion and name.
Suggi Habba, Makara Sankramana, Makara Sankranti: Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana
Makara Sankranti or Til Sankrant : Bihar
Makar Sankranti, Maghi Sankrant, Haldi Kumkum or Sankranti : Maharashtra, Goa
Thai Pongal or Uzhavar Thirunal: Tamil Nadu
Maghi: Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, and Punjab
Magh Bihu or Bhogali Bihu: Assam
Shishur Saenkraat: Kashmir
Sakraat or Khichdi: Uttar Pradesh and western Bihar
Poush Sangkranti: West Bengal @ Bangalore, India