Dhanu Sankranti 2018- Date, Time, Tithi, Puja, Rituals

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By: Manmeet Kaur Tura

Dhanu Sankranti or Dhanu Sankraman is a very propitious day as per Hindu mythology and occurs when the Sun enters the Sagittarius sun sign or the dhanu rashi. This day is celebrated with great fervor in the country, especially in the state of Orissa .The day of Dhanur Mas (month) starts with a special puja offered to Lord Jagannath. Dhanur Mas begins on makar Sankranti. This day is also celebrated by worshipping the Sun God.

The festival commences from 16th of December every year and continues for nearly 15 days, the Bargarh town becomes Mathura, the Jura River becomes Yamuna, and Ambapalli is depicted as Gokul. Everyone come together to celebrate the festival and several plays and musical performances take place. The wide and long stretch of nearly 5 kilometers turns into a theatre where large numbers of people get involved and enact various episodes of Lord Krishna’s life.

Date 2018- Sunday, 16th December

2018 Dhanu Sankranti Phalam

Punya Kaal Muhurta = 09:24 to 15:48 Duration = 6 Hours 24 Mins
Sankranti Moment = 09:24

Mahapunya Kaal Muhurta = 09:24 to 09:48  Duration = 0 Hours 24 Mins

Rituals  and Puja

  • On this day, Lord Jagannath is worshipped in many parts of India, primarily in Orissa. Disciples begin the festival of Dhanu Yatra from sixth day of Pousha month in Shukla Paksha and continue it until Purnima of the Pousha month.
  • Special cuisines are prepared on this day, which includes conical shaped sweetened rice flakes that are offered to the God during the puja ceremony.
  • The “Bow Ceremony” is portrayed in the street play as mentioned in the Bhagwad Purana. It depicts how Kansa had invited Krishna and Balaram on the occasion of Dhanu Yatra with the evil intention of killing them. Devotees from all across the country come to watch these enactments and pray to God.
  • This day is considered auspicious to offer money to the poor and needy (daanya punnya) and perform ancestral pujas.
  • On this day one should involve himself in sankraman japa, holy water bath and pitru tarpan.
  • Surya Namaskar is performed early in the morning during which the Sun God is offered water and flowers early in the morning just after the sunrise to receive blessings. Devotees fast on this day for happiness and fortune in their life.
  • Devotees take a dip in the holy rivers like Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari, Yamuna as it is considered a very auspicious custom. 

Many foreigners visit the Puri Temple of Lord Jagannath to observe the great puja performed here on the day of Dhanu Sankranti. The temple is beautifully decorated and religious songs are sung to please the God.