BJANA celebrates Makar Sankranti, sends greetings to wider community

Above and below, attendees at the Makar Sankranti celebrations of BJANA, held Jan. 14, 2024, at the Sri Siddhivinayak temple in Toms River, NJ. PHOTO: Courtesy BJANA

The Bihar Jharkhand Association of North America (BJANA) celebrated Makar Sankranti on January 14, 2024, with much fanfare.

The festival is known as Dahi Chura in Bihar and Jharkhand, and BJANA observed it in a traditional way with its members at the Sri Siddhivinayak temple, Toms River, New Jersey in partnership with the Bihar Foundation East Coast Chapter, Parikh Worldwide Media, and TV Asia.

This is a solar festival dedicated to the worship of the Sun God, marking the transition of sun from south to north, known as Uttarayan. It marks the end of the winter season or the beginning of spring in India. It is observed in several states of India under different names like Bihu, Pongal, Bhogi, Sakrat, etc. Different states follow various customs and rituals such as flying kites, taking dips in holy rivers, consuming and donating symbolic food items, and offering prayers to the sun god.

This year, BJANA noticed a considerable increase in attendance. More than 300 members of the local community and temple visitors attended the event. Attendees came from as far as New York, Maryland, and Pennsylvania other than local New Jersey residents.

After the Sankranti special pooja performed by the temple priests, a traditional Sankranti special lunch consisting of Dahi, Chura, Tilkut, Khichdi and Indian vegetable curry was served by BJANA. Tilkut, all the way from India, was made available on special order.

There was something for everyone at the event and people of all ages enjoyed flying kites or spending time with friends and family.

A painting and drawing competition was held for younger children along with the arrangements to make their own s’mores.

Sanjeev Singh, the president of BJANA, wished everyone Makar Sankranti greetings and hoped there is even greater participation of attendees in future. also thanked executive members and volunteers for their help and support in executing this event.

Dr. Avinash Gupta, President of FIA, past president of BJANA and current chairman of the temple; and Alok Kumar, chairman of Bihar Foundation and FIA board of trustees, sent their best wishes to everyone from the Bihar-Jharkhand community.




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