Bhubaneswar, Jan 14: The holy Makar Sankranti, a Hindu festival, is being observed across the State amid religious fervour and serenity today. From today, the Sun moves northwards, causing a gradual rise in temperature in the Earth’s surface.
As per religious rituals, Makar Chaula (rice) is offered to Lord Shiva on the auspicious day. People, especially women, visit nearby Shiva temple and offer Makar Chaula to the lord to appease Him for welbeing of family.
Shiva Temples like Shree Lingaraj Temple, Shree Loknath Temple in Puri, Akhandalmani temple at Aradi in Bhadrak district, Shree Hatakeshwar Temple at Atri in Khurda district, Gupteswar Temple in Koraput, Dhabaleswar Temple near Athagarh, Panchalingeswar Temple at Balasore witness huge rush of devotees.
But this year the administration has imposed restrictions and promulgated Section 144 at several Shiv shrines in the state due to the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic for which Makar festival is being celebrated in a low key manner across the state.
The Trinity of the Shreemandir, Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra, have adorned Makar Besha today. Similarly, Maa Tarini at Ghatagaon in Keonjhar district has assumed Suna Besha today.
The Telugu speaking community in the state celebrate this festival in a grand way. Kite-flying is a major attraction of the festival. However, the flying of kites with manja thread has been banned by the Cuttack Municipal Corporation this year.
The tribals of North Odisha celebrate the makar sankranti in a very colourful manner. People belonging to Santhal tribe worship ” Tusu”goddess. Wearing colourful dresses, the males and females dine, drink and dance. The malefolk also follow the ritual of”akhand sikaar” (hunting of animals). They go to forest to hunt. But now-a-days hunting has been banned and it has been reduced to mere ritual.