Dhanu Sankranti – Festival of Harvest and leading the life to prosperity
Dhanu Sankranti is celebrated to mark the beginning of the ninth month as per the Hindu Solar calendar. It marks the transition of the Sun into the Dhanu Rashi. People worship the Sun God on this day and take holy bath in sacred rivers and lakes. This festival is very popular in the Lord Jagannath temple in Odisha. Lord Jagannath is also a form of Lord Krishna only and hence followers of Lord Krishna perform a number of rituals at their homes as well as various temples.
Rituals of Sankranti :
Similar to many other festivals, this known festival is also closely linked to the agriculture. Usually this is the season of the harvest and people offer the first collection from the harvest to the deities. This is observed all over the country in a similar manner but the dates for the Sankranti change a bit depending on whether people follow the solar or the lunar calendar. This festival is celebrated for more than a week and people offer different varieties of food made from the harvest crops to the deities and get the blessings for their family. Usually people in rural areas celebrate this festival in a grand way.
This festival is celebrated in a grand way in Bargarh region of Odisha and the worship of Lord Krishna is done in a splendid manner. It is celebrated to commemorate the visit of Lord Krishna to Mathura. The procession of Lord Krishna known as Dhanu Jatra is held during this festival. In some villages, the cows and other animals are decorated and offered puja. This shows the special bond these animals share with the farmers. The farmers in turn take this opportunity to thank the animals once a year for their service throughout the year. This festival is also celebrated in many parts of south India in the name of Sankranti, but usually the period varies by two to three weeks due to the change in calendar. The rituals and customs also change for this festival from region to region.