Maghe Sankranti

Maghe Sankranti

Maghe Sankranti or Makar Sankranti is one of the Nepalese festivals which is celebrated on the first day of month of Magh which falls on 14 January. It is the tradition and culture of all the Nepalese society which comes through out the year.This day is the movement of the sun from one zodiac sign into another which is called Sankranti and as the Sun moves into the Capricorn zodiacal sign known as Makar, this occasion which is happen naturally on 14 January is named as Makar Sankranti.

Maghe Sankranti is also celebrated as “Maghi” by the Tharu community in the Terai region of Nepal. It is the biggest festival of Tharu. Sankranti is the Sanskrit  word which refers to the transmigration of the Sun from one Rashi (sign of the zodiac) to another.

Importance of Makar Sankranti

According to Nepalese culture, Makar Sankranti is the begining of new holy seasons, which means, end of winter season and start of spring season as god-fearing. It is the day, ending of inauspicious phase of time and believed start of harvest moment. In other word, Makar Sankranti is the end of winter and beginning of spring and harvest season.

Maghe Sankranti is the festival in which they worship the sun as a God. They believe sun is the symbol of power, divinity and wisdom. All Nepalese people take holy bath on this day which is known as Makar Snan generally shows in Holly Rivers of Nepal. The bath is mostly performs in Triveni (the place where three rivers meet). There are many Triveni rivers which are more popular for Makar bath which are situated on  the bank of Bagmati river in Patan, Dolalghat, Baraha Kshetra, Ridi, The Sachi Tirtha at Trivenighat (Panauti), Shankhamol etc. Other holy rivers which is famous for different fairs are Kankai River of Jhapa, Kali Gandaki, Trishuli River of Devghat the famous places for the Makar Snan on the day of Maghe Sankranti.

Maghi Festival

Maghe Shankranti is also one of  the biggest festival of the Tharu community. They call it Maghi. They have grand celebration of Maghi starting from the final week of the month of Paush to 3 of Magh. Tharu community celebrate Maghi as the New year. This is the greatest day for Tharu people where their family and relatives gather together and celebrate their new year by dancing , performing their own cultre, singing, playing various entertainment games. They enjoy their festival in a traditional way having delicious items and meat of pigs, ducks and hens etc.

Foods in Maghe Sankranti

Maghe Sankranti

Maghe Sankranti reminds us of some Nepalese delicious food like Tilaura, Chakku (Molasys), Ghee, Spinich and Yam’s curry which are cooked as the special items of this day. Yam (Tarual in Nepali) and sell roti fulaura which is made from the wheat, and the flour is regarded as very important and special food of Maghe Shankranti.

It is believed that eating these food items Gheu Chaku (Ghee), ,Spinich and yam helps us become healthier and warmer during the cold weather. Some people call Maghe Sangranti as the ghiu chaku tarul eating day.

Ox (Bull) Fighting Festival

In some places of Nepal Maghe Sankranti is celebrates as the Ox fighting festival day. Oxen from different village or family take competition to fight. The winner ox is awarded with special prizes. The village in Nuwakot district, towards the northern side of Kathmandu valley is famous for this Oxen flight.  Taruka village is well known place for this famous ox fighting game on the day of Maghe Sankranti. It’s a bull fighting like in Spain.

Get Involved

The Makar Sankranti or Maghe Sankanti is celebrated by bathing in the rivers and praying the Sun as a god. If you want to join to experience the culture or want to know about the rituals and culture, then you can join any Nepalese family who celebrate this festival in traditional way. It takes about 2/3 days to experience the festival. Vising the countryside village and enjoying the festival is worthy then joining inside the cities. You can combine this festival before or after your trekking in Nepal or even you can manage your time during the trekking also.

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