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Dhanu

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This is an article about the Hindu festival Dhanu. For information about Dhanu, the assassin of the Prime Minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi, see Thenmuli Rajaratnam

In the Hindu religion, Dhanu, which is generally referred to as Dhanu Yatra, is a festival holiday relating to Lord Krishna's visit to Mathura. This visit was made to witness the ceremony of Bow. This event is observed in a colourful festival at Bargarh.

During this festival, which runs from 16 December until the beginning of January, Bargarh becomes known as Mathura, the Jura River becomes Yamuna and the village Amapalli, (which is situated on the other bank of the river), becomes Gopa.

Different acts of puranic descriptions are performed at specific locations and the spectators move from place to place with the action to follow the performance. During this festival the Lord is offered sweetened rice flakes which are specially prepared in a Conical shape.

The festival is also referred to as Dhanu Sankranti.

In the state of Kerala in India, ladies celebrate Thiruvathira in this month. Thiruvathira is supposed to be the birthday of Lord Shiva. Married women and girls do 'upavasa' (fasting) on that day. They sing and dance and also do the swing. Girls pray to Lord Shiva to get a good husband while married women pray for the longevity of their husbands.

In kannada DHANU means bow(dhanassu) and also the name of the zodiac sign Sagittarius(dhanu/dhanassu).


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