Maghe Sakranti: Welcoming Warmer Days

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Maghe Sakranti is a popular Nepali festival observed on the first of Magh; widely celebrated as Ghya Chaku Sanlhu by the Newar community and as Maghi by the Tharus. This festivity is an invitation to the longer warmer days bidding farewell to the cold of Mangsir and Poush. Hindus take ritual baths in pious river locations and worship the sun. For the celebration, ghee, chaku, ladoo and sweet potatoes are consumed. These food items help to keep our body warm and thus make ourselves metabolically well-prepared to bid the winter good-bye for rest of the year.

Families prepare the festivity-oriented dishes like til ko laddu, chaku, tarul, sakkarkhanda, phuraula and ghee in the evening of the last day of Poush and consume the foods on the first of Magh so the festival is also widely called Poush ma pakyaa, Magh ma Khakkya (Prepared on Poush, Consumed on Magh)

Terai communities celebrate this day as Makar Sakranti. Also known as harvest festival, this is one of the few festivals celebrated on basis of the solar cycle. The day marks beginning of the new year and is celebrated with families and friends. Mouth-watering dishes like crab pickle, sesame seed balls, fish, pork curry and breads like Jharra roti and Dhikri are consumed. Along with the delicacies, Tharus celebrate the day by indulging in dance forms like Ghumra, Sakhiya, Jhumra to name a few. This festival is also a medium to renew ties with loved ones and continues for three days.

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