Dhanu Sankranti 2021: Significance and Rituals

Dhanu Sankranti is the day when the Sun transits in the sign of Sagittarius, marking the beginning of the ninth month as per the Hindu Solar Calendar. This transit also signifies the beginning of the auspicious month of Dhanur for the Vaishnava sect. 

Lord Jagannath is worshipped, and special puja in his name is performed on Dhanu Sankranti in different parts of the country. As this day marks the transit of the Sun, people also worship Surya Dev with utmost dedication and seek his blessings.

This year, Dhanu Sankranti will fall on December 16, 2021.

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Significance of Dhanu Sankranti

On the day of Dhanu Sankranti, Surya Dev is worshipped. It is considered auspicious to take a dip in the holy rivers like Ganga and Yamuna. This festival is celebrated with utmost joy and vigor in the county, especially in Orissa. In Orissa, Lord Jagannath is worshipped on this day, after which, a huge celebration is carried out. A special sweet is offered to Lord Jagannath called the Dhanu Muan, which is made of sweetened rice flakes. 

In the Bargarh town of Orissa, street plays are organized that signify the different episodes of the life of Lord Krishna. One of the most prominent episodes depicted on this day is when Lord Krishna visited Mathura to see the “bow ceremony”. In this ceremony organized by Kansa, Lord Krishna and his brother Balaram were invited on the special occasion of Dhanu Yatra. The motive behind extending this invitation by Kansa was to assassinate the two brothers. 

Orissa is a sight to the sore eyes during this time as almost all the people of Bargarh town participate in the street plays, and it is a grand celebration for everyone. This celebration is observed for ten to eleven days in Bargarh, Orissa, starting from Pausha Shukla to Pausha Poornima. One of the most popular events in the world, the Dhanu Yatra is also carried out in the Bargarh town during this period. 

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Rituals of Dhanu Sankranti

Devotees must wake up early on the day of Dhanu Sankranti and take a bath with holy water. It should be followed by offering water and flowers to Surya Dev during the sunrise. Devotees also perform charity work and make donations on this day to the poor and needy in the name of their deity to seek blessings for a blissful life.

Puja for Dhanu Sankranti

On the day of Dhanu Sankranti, the devotees perform Pitru Tarpan and do ancestral Puja. The worshippers offer Prasad to God, which is made of sweet rice flakes. After completing the Puja-ceremony, this Prasad is distributed among all the other people present there. 

However, the center of attraction for the entire country is the splendid puja that takes place at the Puri Jagannath temple. People from not only India but around the world gather there to witness the beautiful sight. The beautiful decoration of the temple, massive puja, Prasad distribution, bhajans, and the faith and devotion of worshippers are worth witnessing during this time.

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Puja Vidhi

  • The devotees must wake up before sunrise on this day and take a bath.
  • Offer water mixed with red sandalwood to Surya Dev in a copper pot. Mix water with turmeric, Roli, and vermilion and offer Arghya to the Sun.
  • It must be followed by offering flowers to the Surya Dev.
  • Thereafter, sweets like Halwa made of jaggery should be offered to the Sun.
  • Take a garland of red sandalwood and chant the Mantraॐ भास्कराय नमः”/ “oṃ bhāskarāya namaḥ”/. 
  • Once the Puja is concluded, apply Naivedya and distribute the Prasad.

Dhanu Sankranti: Mythological Beliefs

Devotees on this day gather in the nearby temples and perform Puja and offer their prayers to God. They believe that by worshipping on this day, all their prayers will be heard, and they will be blessed with a peaceful and blissful life. People, especially women, observe a fast on the day of Dhanu Sankranti for happiness and good fortune.

Dhanu Sankranti: Rituals and Celebrations

  • Lord Jagannath and Surya Dev are worshipped on this day. People offer water and flowers to Surya in the morning after taking the sacred bath.
  • Devotees observe a fast on this day for a happy and fortunate life.
  • The festival of Dhanu Yatra commences on the sixth day of Pausha month in Shukla Paksha. The festivities continue till Poornima of Pausha month.
  • Special Prasad is prepared and offered to Lord Jagannath and other people.
  • The Bow Ceremony mentioned in the Bhagavata Purana is depicted in the forms of street plays.
  • Devotees visit temples of Lord Jagannath and Surya Dev to pay respect.
  • Donations and charity work is done on this day as it is considered auspicious.

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