Dhanu Sankranti also known as Dhanur Sankraman is the day when Sun enters into sign of Sagittarius.
On this day, special prayers are offered to Surya and people also take bath in holy rivers like Ganga, Yamuna, Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna, Tungabhadra and Kaveri.
This festival is one of the most important festival of Orissa. Lord Jagannath is worshiped on this day. In Orissa, Dhany sanskriti is celebrated on the first day of lunar Posha.
Street plays are held depicting the life of Lord Krishna relating to his visit to Mathura- held during the period of Baragarh. This visit was made to witness the ceremony of dhanu “bow”. Kansa had invited Krishna and Balaram on the occasion of Dhanu Yatra with an intention of killing them during the Yatra. Hence it is known as Dhanu Yatra. Many musical performances also take. A special sweet made of rice is also prepared on this day.
1) The Sun God is offered water and flowers early in the morning just after the sunrise
2) Lord Jagannath is worshipped in many parts of the India, especially in Orissa.
3) Devotees commence the festival of Dhanu Yatra from the sixth day of the Posha month in shukla paksha and it is continued Purnima of Posha month itself.
4) Sweets are made of rice and are offered to god.
5) Street plays are held in which “Bow ceremony” is depicted.
6) People take bath in the holy river and offer donations to the poor.