Maghe Sankranti (Makar Sankranti)
Maghe Sankranti which is also called “Makar Sankranti” is a national festival celebrated on the first day of Magh (Nepali Date) on the Gregorian calendar the date generally falls in the middle of January. Nepali people celebrate it as the beginning of the auspicious month of Magh. It is also celebrated by the Magar and the Tharu community as Maghi or New Year.
On this day, the sun is believed to be leaving its position from southern hemisphere and start its journey towards the Northern Hemisphere. In this sense, Maghe Sankranti is similar to solstice festivals in other religious traditions. Hindus celebrate this festival by taking holy dip in river and worship Lord Vishnu during the month by offering him pujas. Families get together and eat meals like, sesame seed laddus, molasses, ghee, sweet potatoes and yam and many other foods, focusing on healthy eating, are geared towards warming up the body during cold days, good nourishment, a life time free of disease and purification of one’s body. In the Magar and Tharu community, people celebrate by getting together as a family and friends, attending community mela, dressing up in the own traditional Magar and Tharu wear, eating, drinking and making merry.
In this occasion, every year Taruka Village of Nuwakot also organizes Bull fight (Ox fight) believing that the one dying on this day will directly go to the heaven without suffering and gets a rebirth.
So, this special festival is celebrated in their own way by various ethnic groups of Nepal. Forgetting all the sorrows and the enmity people celebrate this festival with lot of joy and prosperity which has helped to progress the quality of social harmony.