Maghe Sankranti being celebrated amid fanfare

  • January 15, 2020

Maghe or Makar Sankranti is being observed throughout as well as outside the country amid much fanfare. The festival is celebrated at the beginning of the Nepali month of Magh. The festival marks the sun’s transit into Makara (Capricorn) which means the end of the winter solstice and the start of longer days.

Nepali Hindus take holy bath in rivers and ponds, and worship at various temples and relish delicacies like ghee, yam, khichadi including sweets prepared by mixing chaku (molasses) and sesame seeds to mark the day.

Likewise, the Tharu community mark this day as the beginning of the New Year. Attired in traditional Tharu dress, the celebrants perform cultural shows across the country and also take part in parades. In the Tarai, people from various communities take bath in sacred rivers and lakes to worship the sun and wash away their sins during the auspicious occasion.
The Newar community observes this festival as ‘Ghyo Chaku Sanhu’ by having ghyo (ghee), chaku with samay baji and remembering the departed souls. The seniors apply mild-hot edible oil to heads of juniors on this day. It is believed that eating such items as ghee and chaku, sesame seed candy, vegetables and yam, and giving them away in charity on this day after taking a holy dip helps one become healthier.

Meanwhile, President Bidya Devi Bhandari has extended her wishes to the people observing Maghe/Makar Sankranti and Maghi, today.

In a message released by the Office of the President, the President has stated that our unique cultural heritages have helped create a distinct identity of our nation. The message reads, “I am confident that our festivals would help maintain common Nepali identity by fostering the cultural and communal diversity.”