Dhanu Sankranti, also known as Dhanur Sankranthi or Dhanu Sankraman, is the auspicious day when Sun (Surya Bhagwan) enters into Dhanu Rashi or the zodiac sign of Sagittarius. In 2012, Dhanu Sankranti date is December 15.
The auspicious month for Vaishnava sect of people, Dhanur Mas, begins on this day. During Dhanur Mas, the popular Dhanu Yatra is celebrated at Baragarh in Orissa. This day commemorates the visit of Lord Sri Krishna to Mathura.
Dhanu Sankranti is popularly known as Vakula Amavasya or Bakula Amavasya. Sankraman Snan (ritual bath during Dhanu Sankranti) is performed in holy rivers like Ganga, Yamuna, Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna, Tungabhadra, and Cauvery during this auspicious day. Dhanur Mas ends on Makara Sankranti day. Makara Sankranti marks the transition of Sun to Makara Rashi (Capricorn).