Dhanu Sankraman widely known as Dhanu Sankranti is an auspicious day as per Hindu mythology. It occurs when the Sun enters the Sagittarius sun sign or the Dhanu Rashi. This festival has a special place in the state of Orissa where it is celebrated with great joy. The start of Dhanur Mas is observed with special puja offered to Lord Jagannath. Dhanur Mas is said to start on Makar Sankranti. Sun God is worshiped on this day of celebration.
The Dhanu Sankranti signifies the start of the 9th month in a traditional Hindu year. This holiday is chiefly celebrated in Orissa, India. This day is celebrated to worship the Lord Jagannath and Lord Surya. The devotees celebrate this day with gusto during the beginning of the month of plenty. Dhanu Sankranti festival is commenced every year on the 16th of December for nearly 15 days. The Bargarh town becomes Mathura, the Jura River becomes the Yamuna, and Ambapalli is depicted as Gokul. All adults and children together celebrate and many plays and musical performances take place. The entire stretch of nearly 5 km become like a theatre where a large number of people get involved and enact various episodes of Lord Krishnas life.
Rituals of the Dhanu Sankranti:
- On this day, Lord Jagannath is worshipped in many parts of India, especially in Orissa
- Devotees start the festival of Dhanu Sankranti from the sixth day of Pousha month in Shukla Paksha and continue it until Purnima of the Pousha month
- Special prasad is prepared on this day, which includes sweetened rice flakes in a conical shape to offer the God during the puja ceremony
- The Bow Ceremony is depicted in a street play and held as mentioned in the Bhagwad Purana. Devotees from all places come to watch and pray to God
- This day is considered auspicious to offer a donation (daanya punnya) and perform ancestral pujas
- Apart from daan activities, one should involve himself in sankraman japa, holy water bath and pitru tarpan
- The Sun God is offered flowers and water early in the morning to receive the blessings
- Devotees especially, women, fast on this day for happiness and fortune in their life
At many places, the theatrical plays depicting the life of Lord Krishna are also staged. The plays showcase his visit to Mathura. The legend has it that he was invited by Kansa to witness the ceremony of Dhanu sankranti. Krishnas elder brother Balaram was also invited and Kansa had conceived a plot to kill them both during the proceedings of this occasion. AskGanesha wishes you all a Very Happy Dhanu Sankranti.