Maghe ( Makar) sankranti festival ,Nepal

Posted on Jan 8, 2014 by NepalTravel under Culture and Festival

Tags: Maghe,Makar,Sankranti,Festival

When Maghe(Makar) Sankranti Celebrated

According to Nepalese calendar, the first day of every month is known as Sankranti.  Maghe Sankranti is the first day of tenth month of Nepalese calendar. It is yet another important festival in Nepal. Also known as Makar sankranti or Maghi, it is celebrated with great joy all over Nepal. It is believed that celebrating maghe sankranti brings end to the chilled winter weather with the starting of better days with warm weather.

Religious Belief about Maghe Sankranti

Like every festival in Nepal, maghe sankranti also has its own story behind its celebration. Once upon a time in bhadgaon (currently known as Bhaktapur) there was a rich merchant who was satisfied with his good business of sesame seeds. The sale of sesame seeds was good enough daily wise but the stock never diminished. So, he was amazed of this fact and started searching for the hidden reason behind this. When he was searching he found the idol of great lord Bishnu hidden deep inside the sesame seeds. Thus, after this day the idol is continuously worshipped as Til Mahadev Idol with a belief that it would bring good supply of food and wealth.

How Maghe Sankranti Celebrated

On this day people take deep bath in holy rivers like triveni (where three rivers are combined into one), Shankhamool, Dolalghat, Bagmati or any other religious rivers in Nepal.  A big celebration and fete is organized at different river banks of Nepal. Lord Ajima mata and Rato Machhindra nath is worshipped after the holy bath. It is believed that maghe sankranti brings warmer days ahead with starting of spring season. On this day, family gather together and eat special foods like ghee (butter), chaaku (Molasys), tarul (Yam), teel ladoos (sesame ladoo), etc. These foods are eaten so as to make ourselves warmer from inside on winter of January. Families gather together for the celebration.  Daughters and son in laws are also invited for lunch. People belonging to Newar community massage their body and head with sesame oil as a belief that it would make them strong and warm from inside.

Maghi Sankranti in Tharu Community

Maghe sankranti is also the biggest festival of Tharu community. Tharu community is the ethnic community Nepal commonly residing terai region of Nepal.  They celebrate Maghe sankranti as ‘Maghi’. In Tharu community, maghi is considered as the end of a year and beginning of a new one. Tharus of Far- Western Nepal celebrate maghi as a new year. They indulge themselves in various entertaining activities. They buy new clothes and buy pigs or ducks to celebrate the festival. Nepalese all over the world celebrate this festival with great joy and belief.

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