Maghe Sankranti: Holy dips, temple worships and traditional delicacies mark the occasion

KATHMANDU: Maghe Sankranti, also known as Makar Sankranti, is being joyously celebrated across the nation today, with devotees partaking in sacred river dips, temple rituals, and relishing traditional delights such as ghee, yam, khichadi, Chaku, and sesame-molasses sweets.

Astrologically significant, Makar Sankranti marks the sun's northward journey, bringing longer days and shorter nights. According to ancient texts like 'Bhabisya Puran' and 'Dharma Sindhu,' adhering to festival rituals is believed to bring special blessings and ensure a robust body.

The Newar community observes 'Ghyo Chaku Sallnhu,' involving the consumption of ghee and Chaku while honoring departed souls. Seniors traditionally apply mild-hot edible oil to the heads of juniors on this auspicious day.

Devotees throng various pilgrimage sites in Nepal like Devghat, Barahchhetra, Ridi, Panauti, Dolalghat, and Kankai, as well as in India's Prayag and Gangasagar, for holy baths and Shraddha ceremonies.

Maghe Sankranti holds significance in Ayurveda and medical science, as the food consumed on this day is considered a source of a balanced diet, boosting the body's immunity. Festivities include a celebration at the Tilmadhav Narayan Temple in Taumadhi Tole, Bhaktapur, and the puja of Deepakankar Buddha.

The Tharu and Magar communities celebrate Maghe Sankranti, known as Maghi, with enthusiasm, while Terai districts mark the occasion as the Festival of Bath, locally known as Nahan.

As part of the celebrations, the government has declared a public holiday, allowing citizens to fully immerse themselves in the cultural and spiritual significance of Maghe Sankranti.

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