Nepali Hindus in the country and across the world is engrossed in the celebrations of the auspicious Maghe Sankranti festival today, i.e., January 14, 2021. It is one of the most important religious festivals in Nepal.
Maghe Sankranti or Makar Sankranti is celebrated on the first day of Magh, which marks the end of the winter solstice and the commencement of the spring season.
Moreover, the festival marks the transition of the Sun into the Capricorn zodiacal sign known as Makara, welcoming longer days.
On this auspicious day, people wake up in the wee hours and take a ritual bath in holy rivers, mainly the Devghat of Chitwan. During the holy dip, they sing devotional songs and offer prayers to Lord Surya (Sun God). People also worship Lord Shiva and offer flowers and sacred foods at the temple.
Families come together on this day to prepare and enjoy delicious dishes like Chaaku (retreated molasses), Tilko Laddu (candy made out of sesame seeds and sugar), Khichadi (traditional way of cooking rice with black gram daal), Gheu (clarified butter), Pidaalu (Taro Roots), Sakhar-Khand (sweet potatoes), Tarul (Yam), and spinach.
Every year, Nepalis celebrate this festival by organizing various programs across the country, such as bullfighting, religious fairs, food fests, and dancing.
However, this year, the festive celebrations are restricted to homes, and mass gatherings are canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Nepali government has urged people to celebrate the festival following COVID-19 guidelines.
NepaliSansar Wishes a ‘Happy and Safe Maghe Sankranti’!