Maghe Sankranti, Maghi being observed across nation

KATHMANDU: Maghe Sankranti festival is being observed across the nation on Friday.

On the occasion, Hindus take a holy dip in rivers and feast on yams, ghee and different delicacies while Newars eat ghee, chaku and special food to celebrate the day.

Devotees throng rivers in the Valley and Devghat of Chitwan, among other places, to take holy dips.

Similarly, Tharus mark the festival by taking a dip in rivers and receiving blessings from elders.

Tharus celebrate the festival as Maghi, beginning of the new year.

Clad in traditional attires, Tharu people ogranise shows depicting different aspects of their culture on this day.

From the month of Magh, the sun enters the southern hemisphere and the days begin to grow longer and warmer gradually bringing the winter to an end.

The government has declared a public holiday to mark the festival today.

According to Mahabharata, Bhisma Pitamah, who had the power to control his own death, happened to choose to die on the day of Maghe Sankranti. Therefore it is believed that those who die on this day might achieve Moksha, a release from the rebirth cycle.

Similarly, in the Kirant Community this festival is celebrated as a start of a new year which is called Yele Dhung.