Makar Sankranti


Makar Sankranti is mostly known as Maghe Sankranti or Maghi in Nepal. It is a festival observed on the first day of the month of Magh of the Nepali Calendar (14 January on Gregorian) bringing an end to the supposedly ill-omened month of Poush when all religious ceremonies are forbidden. On this day, the sun is believed to leave its southernmost position and begin its northward journey. Observant Hindus take ritual baths during this festival, notably at auspicious river locations. Festive foods like laddoo, ghee and sweet potatoes are made and kept on the day before and distributed on that day and eaten. The mother of each household wishes good health to all family members.

Maaghi is the biggest festival of Tharu Community it is celebrated as the New Year by Tharu Community of Nepal. According to Mahabharata, king Bhisma, who had the power to control his own demise, happened to choose to die on the day of Maghe Sakranti. Therefore it is believed that one to die on this day might achieve Moksha, a release from rebirth cycle. As per Kirat community this festival is celebrated as a start of a new year which is called Yele Dhung. Based on the historical evidence Kirat calendar was started when King Yalamber conquered Kathmandu valley.

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