Nepali Hindu community celebrated the auspicious Maghe Sankranti 2019 with fervor across the country on January 15, 2019.
The celebrations were held on a grand scale beginning with the traditional #bullfight, as every year. Marking the festival day, the country saw exciting bullfighting events across different areas.
The bullfighting event held in the Nuwakot and Dhading districts, adjoining the Kathmandu valley, stood as the major highlight of the #MagheSankranti2019 celebrations in Nepal. Hundreds of public gathered in Taruka village of Nuwakot district, 75 km away from the capital city, to watch the joyful event that is believed to have taken its origin in Taruka village some 200 years ago in the 19th century.
The bullfight event was also organized in around four other villages in Nuwakot district, which saw audience from various districts and even foreign tourists.
Nepali Minister for Youth and Sports Jagat Bahadur Bishwakarma inaugurated the event. Speaking at the inaugural speech, the Minister said it is important to preserve events that promote rich history and culture.
Bullfight in Nepal is different from those in other parts of the world! #NepaliBullFight event includes both bulls and oxen.
Nearly 22 pairs of bull fought this year events in Taruka district, where they were seen fighting continuously for nearly an hour period, as the audience continued cheers and applause.
Ethnic appearances by the women of Tharu and Magar communities was another highlight of the day.
Maghe Sankranti, which falls on the first day of the Nepali month of Magh as per the lunar calendar, marks the transition of Sun into the Hindu zodiac sign called Makara (Capricorn), putting an end to winter and welcoming the other seasons of the year followed by summer.
As per the tradition, Nepali Hindus visit various holy shrines and rivers to observe traditional pujas and Makar Snan (holy river bath) at the confluence of major rivers on this auspicious day.
While the confluence of the holy Kali Gandaki and Trishuli rivers in Devghat hold great significance, devotees also take holy dips at various other rivers such as Dolalghat, Devghat, Ridi, Triveni and Baraha Kshetra, among others across the country.
A large number of people from Sunsari, Ilam, Morang, Saptari, Siraha, and Jhapa districts and a good number of people from various places of India gathered at Kankai River for Makar Snan, the tradition that is observed every year.
Marking the celebration as the start of New Year, Nepal’s Tharu community people thronged at Kathmandu Valley’s open ground Tundikhel (to commemorate Maghe Sankranti, the community’s biggest festival).
Meanwhile, the Newar Community also celebrates the festival as Ghyo Chaku Sanlhu with delicious dishes like ghee, chaku and remembering their beloved and departed souls.
As per the tradition, the elders apply a little amount of oil to the younger ones who then proceed for holy dip in sacred rivers. It is believed that sharing and eating ghee and chaku, vegetables and yam and sesame seed candy on the festival day adds to a healthy life.
Another special delicious item, a mixture of black gram and rice with hot spices and ghee, called Khichadi is also served on this auspicious festival day. On the occasion, national leaders President Bidya Devi Bhandari and Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba extended their best wishes to the global Nepali community.
A three-day long fair is being held in Gulmi at the pilgrimage site of Ridi of Ruru area at a place that is a tri-junction of Gulmi, Syangja and Palpa districts.
Meanwhile, another big religious fair has been celebrated in Devghat of Chitwan district with thousands of participants gathering at Devghat Dham for taking holy dip and observing the festival rituals.
Tharu community people also gathered at Tundikhel on a larger scale to mark the festival celebrations. Dressed in cultural attire, the community performed various cultural and religious dance shows at the event.
The traditional bullfight is one most famous animal sports event played as part of the Maghe Sankranti celebrations across Nepal and India. Commemorating the start of Magh and holy Sankranti festival, traditional bullfight sports event was held across Nepal on January 15, 2019.
While Magh is also celebrated as the feast of molasses, Nepal’s mountainous district Nuwakot looks at it in a different way.
Marking the start of the Magh, the country observes the annual bullfighting event, a traditional animal sport that dates back to more than 225 years.
“This is the tradition which we (farmers) have continued for years. We have been herding the bulls and the government has been giving allowance to buy the tractors. However, we are not getting any sort of help or aid despite preserving the tradition for long,” says Bhoj Bahadur Bhandari, a participant of this traditional bull sport.
This annual bull-taming festival in Nepal is similar to that of the most-famous Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu of India and the Spanish Bullfight.
Apart from being a tradition, this unique bullfighting event is also adding to the promotion of Nepal tourism.
NepaliSansar team wishes all “Very Happy Maghe Sankranti”.