Of all the festivals celebrated in Nepal, “Maghe Sankranti” is one of the important festivals. It falls on the first day of Magh month of the Bikram Samwat, a Nepali Year. In other words, the mid of January of the western calendar. ‘Maghe Sankranti’ is also known as “Makar Sankranti” or “Pongal” in India. “Maghe Sankranti” not only marks the beginning of Magh month, but also marks the end of Poush, an ill-omen month, in which no religious are celebrated in Nepal by the Nepalese.
Aside from this, ‘Manghe Sankranti’ marks the coming of the warm days, as well as the better days of the health and fortune. From the first day of Magh, the sun leaves its southernmost position and moves towards the north. On this day, the Hindus take ritual baths in the rivers and eat the special delicacies, such as yam, sesame candy, sweet potatoes, chaakku (sweet prepared from boiled and hardened molasses), and ghee.
There are many myths associated with the celebrations of ‘Maghe Sankranti,’ and one of them is, once a successful businessperson was curious as to why his supply of sesame seeds do not end, and when he inspected his bag, he found an idol of Lord Vishnu, the preserver of this world.
Another myth is in the Hindu epic, Mahabharata, King Bhisma, who had the power to control his death, choose to die in the ‘Manghe Sankranti,’ and the Hindus generally believe that the person, who expires on this day will reach heaven and will be free from the burden of rebirth. Happy Maghe Sankranti 🙂
Similar to this, Learn more about other festivals celebrated in Nepal: