Holy Dips, Prayers Mark Makar Sankranti in Odisha

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Bhubaneswar: People took a holy dip in ponds, tanks and rivers and visited temples across Odisha as they celebrated the harvest festival of Makar Sankranti Sunday with religious fervour and enthusiasm.

Long queues were seen outside various temples in the city.

In Puri, thousands visited the Jagannath temple to witness the special rituals performed by temple priests on the occasion.

People prepared a special dish made with newly harvested rice, sugar, banana, coconut and black pepper and offered it to the gods. Some exchanged a special dish ‘Makar Chaula’ among themselves.

Many believe that a ritual bath on Makar Sankranti would wash away their sins.

Tribal groups lit bonfires, danced and organised feasts on the eve of Makar Sankranti in various places of Mayurbhanj, Balasore, Keonjhar and Sundergarh districts. Kite-flying competitions were organised in places like Cuttack and other towns with fun and enthusiasm.

In Ganjam district, which has a sizable Telugu population, people decorated the front of their houses with colourful rangoli and celebrated Pongal.