States Odisha Festivals Makar Mela

Makar Mela Odisha

Makar Mela or Makar Sankranti is yet another important festival of Odisha. During the festival the people of Odisha offers prayers and food to the Sun God and seek blessings for a healthy and prosperous life. The festival holds traditional cultural significance for the people of the state.

Makar Mela Odisha

A destination famous for its culture and folk dance- Odisha is also home to various kinds of festivals but one of the major festival is Makar Sankranti. Even though this harvest festival is celebrated almost in every state of India, but what is special in the celebration of Odisha is that- firstly this festival is very near to the traditional new year of Odisha and secondly, it holds an astronomical importance for those who believe that life is affected by the movement of celestial bodies. Since the celebrations take place in every district of Odisha but few places have a view of relish forever. To witness the grand celebrations, one must visit Hatakeshwar at Atri in Khordha or attend the special rituals at Jagannath in Puri, Dhabaleswar at Cuttack,Makara Muni Temple in Balasore.

The devotees who believe that the effect of various heavenly bodies results in success or failure, make sure to celebrate the festival with utmost respect by following the traditional methods of celebration. The explorers always witness a huge crowd at Konark Temple as the celebrations here are major. The astronomical importance of this festival is that worshipping the Sun God on this day would please him and put no harm on the devotee. The actual meaning of Makar Sankranti is the movement if sun in the zodiac sign- Capricorn. This popular fair of Odisha is celebrated in this honour only and the involvement of every age group.

The celebrations of Makar Sankranti in Odisha marks the commencement of Makar Mela and also the preparation of various tasty, mouth-watering delicacies. The preparation of the traditional dish- Makar Chaula includes uncooked, newly harvested rice, banana, jaggery, coconut, rasgullas, sesame, Chhena puddings and Khai/Liaa. This authentic dish is quite important for the devotees and is definitely prepared on this day. But the festival is not just about the celebration of harvest or the worship of Sun God, it is also about the bond of friendship. It can simply be put as the friendships day of Odisha where the individuals choose one best friend and consider him or her their best friend for a year. If a male chooses another male as his best friend, he will address him as Maharshad or Marsad whereas if a woman chooses a female as a best friend, she will address her as Makarathe whole year. This tradition is usually followed in Western Odisha and is known as Makar Basma. If this tradition gets followed in every other state it might just strengthen the bond of friendship for everybody.

Highlights of the Festival

  • The festival is dedicated to Sun God and is celebrated in a grandiose manner in Odisha.
  • Jagannath in Puri, Dhabaleswar in Cuttack, Makara Muni Temple in Balasore and Hatakeshwar Temple in Khordha to witness a huge crowd on this day.
  • This festival has a significance in the Odia culture as it is celebrated next to the Odia Traditional New Year which takes place in mid-April.
  • The festival has a different intake in the western Odisha, where the locals celebrate friendship day on this day.

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