Maghe or Makar Sankranti is being observed throughout the country Tuesday. On the day, people of Hindu communities take holy dips into rivers and ponds, worship at various temples and relish delicacies like ghee, yam, Khichadi and sweets like Chaku and sweets made of sesame and molasses.
As per the astrological chart, this day is called as Makar Sankranti since the sun moves towards the northern hemisphere from this day onwards. On this day, the sun moves from the tropic of Capricorn to tropic of Cancer. Likewise, the days get longer from today onwards.
A large number of devotees throng Devghat, Trishuli, Kaligandaki, Bagmati, Indrawati, Ridi, and other places on the river banks to take a holy bath and perform Shraddha.
Chairman of Nepal Calendar Determination Committee Prof Dr Ram Chandra Gautam told RSS that the time from Shrwan Sankranti to Maghe Sankranti is called Uttarayan since the sun moves towards the north.
“This period is considered the best one for holy bath, offerings, religious trips and fasting,” he added.
On this day, a festival is organised at the Tilmadhav Narayan Temple at Taumadhi Tol, Bhaktapur and Puja of Deepakankar Buddha is performed. The Tharu Community observes this festival as the Maghi with much fanfare and gaiety for five consecutive days.
Likewise, the people in the Tarai belt mark this day as the festival of bath known as Nahan. It is also celebrated by the Tharus as Maghi or the New Year with much funfare.
President’s message on Makar Sankranti
President Bidya Devi Bhandari has extended happiness, peace and prosperity to all Nepali sisters and brother at home and abroad on the occasion of the Maghe Sankranti or Makar Sankranti.
In a message issued from the Secretariat of the President, President Bhandari has expressed her confidence that this festival would strengthen social unity by promoting mutual understanding among different castes and communities of our society.
Our festivals have contributed a lot to maintain our common Nepali identity by linking geographic, cultural, ethnic and lingual diversities and such festivals have played vital role to make our country known in the global stage, President Bhandari has said in the message.
In a similar message, Vice-president Nanda Bahadur Pun has said that such festival enhance mutual harmony, tolerance, fraternity and unity among the Nepalis and contribute to conservation and promotion of our indigenous culture. He has also emphasized on the need for the State to take proper initiatives to preserve and promote such valuable assets of the nation.
PM Oli extends Maghe Sankranti wishes
Prime Minister and ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Chairman KP Sharma Oli has extended hearty wishes to all sisters and brothers living in the country and abroad, on the occasion of the Makar Sankranti (Maghe Sankranti) and the Maghi festival.
In a message of best wishes today, Prime Minister Oli said, the Maghi festival that is celebrated on the 1st of the Nepali month of Magh has further harmonized the cultural diversity in the multi-lingual, multi-ethnic and multi-religious country.
He also stressed on unity in the diversity as the diversity are the ornaments of Nepali society.
The Prime Minister has, in his message, also urged all to join hands to materialize the government campaign of Prosperous Nepal: Happy Nepali along with implementing the constitution.
The message further reads that the festival fosters friendly relations, brotherhood, fraternity and social cohesion by maintaining the national unity and formation of national culture as well.
He also has expressed commitment from the government side to help preserve the diversity with its beauty in the country.