Dhanu Sankranti also known as Dhanu Sankraman is celebrated when the Sun enters the Sagittarius or the Dhanu Rashi. Sankranti is the Sanskrit word in Astrology that refers to the transmigration of the Sun from one Rashi (the sign of the zodiac) to another. As per Hindu Panchang, the Sankranti of Pausha month is known as Dhanu Sankranti. The festival is celebrated with great joy and enthusiasm in Odisha for about 15 days.
This year in 2022 Dhanu Sankranti will be celebrated on Friday, December 16.
The start of Dhanur Mas is observed with special puja offered to Lord Jagannath and Sun. Devotees start the festival of Dhanu Yatra from the sixth day of Pousha month in Shukla Paksha and continue it until Purnima of the Pousha month. The month of Pousha is considered the month of plenty. After collecting the harvest there is a festival of general rejoicing with special sweets of ‘Muan’, which is offered to Lord Jagannath in puja.
During the entire festival that commences from the 16th of December for nearly 15 days, the Bargarh town becomes Mathura, the Jura River becomes 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 kilometers becomes like a theatre where a large number of people get involved and enact various episodes of Lord Krishna’s life.
Things to avoid on Dhanu Sankranti
As per Hinduism, any auspicious work like marriage, engagement, home entrance, home construction, or any kind of ritual should not be performed during this period. It’s only when the Sun transit in Capricorn that auspicious activities are performed. As per Panchang, the Pausha month is also known as Kharmas, when the Sun remains in the Jupiter sign of Sagittarius or Pisces. This is the time for performing Bhajan-Kirtans, and puja-recitation.
Suggested Read: Makar Sankranti
Rituals of this day
On Dhanu Sankranti day Sun God is worshipped. The Sun God is offered water and flowers early in the morning just after sunrise to receive blessings. Devotees especially, women fast on this day for happiness and fortune in their life.
It is considered very auspicious to take snan in holy rivers like Ganga, Yamuna, Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna, Tungabhadra, and Cauvery on this day.
A special prasad called Dhanu Maun is prepared on this day, which includes sweetened rice flakes in a conical shape to offer the God during the puja ceremony. This item is made from recently produced grains.
Scenes from Bhagavad Purana are enacted in plays in different areas of Bargarh town and almost all the people participate in the play with great enthusiasm.
The “Bow Ceremony” is depicted in a street play and held as mentioned in the Bhagwad Purana. Devotees from near and far come to watch this and pray to God.
This day is considered auspicious to offer donations (daanya punnya) and perform ancestral pujas. It is a famous customary ritual to offer water and flowers as oblations to the sun god.
Apart from daan activities, one should involve himself in sankraman japa, holy water bath, and pitru tarpan to bring prosperity.
Suggested Read: Pitru Paksha