On Saturday, Odisha celebrated Makar Sankranti with traditional zeal and merriment. Makar Sankranti, also known as Uttarayan, marks the passage of the sun from south to north. This day is considered fortunate by Hindu scriptures because the sun enters the Capricorn (Makar raashi) zodiac sign, which is ruled by Saturn. On this day, people wash in holy waters and visit temples to worship.
On Makar Sankranti, the Ganga Sargar Mela at Kapil Muni Ashram begins, and unique rites are done at Puri’s Jagannath Temple. Devotees present Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra, and the four Digapalas with ‘Makar Chaula,’ a unique food delicacy made of fresh uncooked rice. Hundreds of worshippers attend the Jagannath Temple in Puri on this day for ‘darshan’ of the deities during ‘Makar Besha,’ when the idols are decorated with garlands of colorful flowers and holy basils.
People have been flocking to the hot springs at Atri in Khordha district and Chandrabhaga in Konark since the morning to commemorate the occasion. People also came to Konark to worship the Sun, which on Makar Sankranti travels from the southern to the northern hemisphere. Devotees traditionally take a sacred plunge in the sea at Chandrabhaga before praying to the Sun. Another tradition practiced on this auspicious day is kite flying, which was enjoyed by hundreds of people around the state. Furthermore, Makar Sankranti is celebrated as a harvest holiday, and people prepare a variety of delectable delicacies using fresh uncooked rice.
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