Nepal is a land of festivals. Nepalese celebrated festivals throughout the year either it is winter or summer or spring. We Nepalese have festivals for every season and every month of the year. Maghe Sankranti is one of the festivals that is celebrated in Nepal. In this blog post, we will explore the traditions and customs surrounding the celebration of Maghe Sankranti in Nepal.
What is Maghe Sankranti?
Maghe Sankranti is a significant festival in Nepal that is celebrated to mark the end of the winter season and the beginning of spring. It is a festival that is celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm every year.
It is a special occasion that marks the end of the cold winter season and the beginning of spring and is observed annually on the first of Magh in the Bikram Sambat calendar. This day is also known as Makar Sankranti, and it is observed by Hindus in Nepal and all over the world.
On Maghe Sankranti, people offer prayers of gratitude to the gods, express their love and appreciation for nature, and look forward to a new year with hope and optimism.
This festival is celebrated with much enthusiasm in Nepal as it is a time for expressing gratitude and hope for a prosperous and joyous year ahead.
Although Maghe Sankranti is celebrated by every Hindu in Nepal, it is considered to be one of the major festivals of Tharu, Madhesi, and Magar community of Nepal. Tharu people celebrated this festival as a new year.
Why Maghe Sankranti is celebrated?
There are many reasons behind the celebration of Maghe Sankranti in Nepal. Below we have explained the reasons why Maghe Sankranti is celebrated?
Maghe Sankranti is celebrated as it marks the beginning of the Nepali New Year and the end of winter. It is celebrated around mid-January every year and is also known as Makar Sankranti in Indian sub-continent. The celebration of Maghe Sankranti in Nepal symbolizes the start of the harvesting season and a time to express gratitude and offer prayers for a prosperous year ahead. So, Maghe Sankranti is considered as the major harvest festival that is celebrated in Nepal.
The movement of the sun from one zodiac sign into another is called Sankranti and as the sun moves into the Capricorn zodiacal sign known as Makara. Therefore, this occassion is known as Makar Sankranti and since this happen on the first day of Magh month, it is celebrated as Maghe Sankranti.
Another reason behind the celebration of Maghe Sankranti is it marks the end of one auspicious phase and the beginning of another phase in Nepalese culture. It marks the end of an inauspicious phase which according to the Hindu calendar begins around mid-December. It is believed that any auspicious and sacred ritual can be sanctified in any Nepali family, this day on-wards. Scientifically, this day marks the beginning of warmer and longer days compared to the nights. In other words, Sankranti marks the termination of winter season and beginning of a new harvest or spring season.
What Does Maghe Sankranti Mean for Nepali People?
For Nepali people, the celebration of Maghe Sankranti marks the beginning of a new year and is seen as a symbol of new beginnings and hope. It is also seen as a time to express gratitude for the harvest and all that the land has provided.
The festival holds special significance in Nepal as it marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring, a season that brings with it new life, energy and hope.
Maghe Sankranti is a traditional Hindu festival celebrated by people of all faiths. On this day, families gather together to offer prayers and observe rituals to honor their ancestors. People also exchange gifts, perform charity and share food with their neighbors as part of the celebration. Additionally, special feasts are prepared and shared among family members. This is a time for rejoicing and sharing the joys of harvest with others.
The celebration of Maghe Sankranti in Nepal serves as an opportunity for communities to come together in unity and to reflect on the values of sharing, kindness, and gratitude. The festival is a reminder that no matter how difficult things may seem, there is always something to be thankful for. The Nepali people celebrate Maghe Sankranti with joy and hope for a better tomorrow.
The celebration of Maghe Sankranti in Nepal signifies an auspicious occasion for the Nepali people, as it marks the onset of a new harvest season. The event marks a period of hope and prosperity for everyone, as people are hopeful that their efforts in farming and other endeavors will be rewarded with abundance throughout the year. As such, the festival celebrates hard work, perseverance, and a bright future for the Nepali people.
How Is Maghe Sankranti Celebrated in Nepal?
Maghe Sankranti is celebrated throughout the country. But because of the different cultures and traditions in Nepal, it is celebrated with distinct names and rituals in the different parts of Nepal. Though mostly it is celebrated by observants taking baths early in the morning in rivers or ponds or even in the house. After taking bath, festive foods and sweets like ladoo, ghee, chaku, yoghurt and sweet potatoes are distributed and eaten among the family members.
In some parts of Nepal, it is also celebrated by visiting temples, sharing sweet dishes with friends and family, flying colorful kites and observing other festive activities. On this day, people decorate their houses, wear new clothes and make special sweets.
Moreover, worshiping the Sun God is an integral part of this day because it is also the festival of Sun god as he is regarded as the symbol of wisdom and divinity.