Makar Sankranti is one of many festivals that is celebrated with much grandeur and warm hospitality in our town. With loads hope, many expectations and new resolutions, we do wait for the day throughout the year. Actually this is a day when three festivals are celebrated at a time. One is maker sankranti, second is our oriya new year (new year in Odisha) and third is Lord Hanuman Jayanti.
No matter how far people stay form their family , they do visit home this day. On this day all the relatives are invited home for a get-together with everyone around from 100 year old great-grandpa to newborns. A special recipe called Makar chawal (a sweet dish made of soaked rice, milk, sugar and lots of fruits…and I must say it too delicious to resist your tongue ) is prepared and fed to each other . It is said that the sweetness in it tighten the bond of love ,care and as rice is the main food of our region, so new year is commenced with it.
Not only inside home but even outside, our people never leaves no stone unturned in showing generosity and love. These are two things that you will easily find in our country. And this festival is just an excuse to go one step ahead and holding out an olive branch for any kind of rivalry. The day is famous as pana sankranti where pana(in oriya) or sarwat (one kind sweet juice prepared from water,lemon and fruits ) is distributed among people. Small and big roadside tent are set up to give away sarwat to everyone without receiving a single penny from them. One can drink as much as they want, they won’t be denied, and rather they will be offered with more.
Besides all these there is something else that makes the day special and that is Hanuman Jayanti. It is believed that Lord Hanuman was born to mother Anjani on this day. So all hanuman temples are painted anew and adorned with big heavy garlands. There is hanuman temple in our town famous for this day especially where you will get to see quaint sight of devotion and discipline. The temple is at Ramalingeswar Tank road, where thousands of people gather on this special day to offer pray. The specialty is that despite sweltering heat of summer and dripping sweat, they come here to chant Hanuman Chalisha( a prayer) . Most of the people keep fast the whole day only consuming water or without anything and do chant hanuman chalisha of 92 lines for 108 times. To keep track of your chanting and to count the times of chant, a leaflet is provided from the temple to everyone in which inside the whole hanuman chalisha and on its backside 108 times “sri ram” is printed where one need to round up a “sri ram” every time he completes chalisha for once. And to relieve the pain of the people and for their convenience, many people come to front as volunteers without any pressure to help others. They do organize the whole function, serve sarwat to the devotees ,standing in queue or chanting hanuman chalisha and take utmost care of people when the heat becomes unbearable. Every year the number of devotees and volunteers keeps growing.
There are some picture above the post of the temple and the gathering this year.