Maghi starts in western terai

Rastriya Samachar Samiti

Dhangadhi, January 12:

The celebration of Maghi, a great religious festival of the Tharu community in the western terai, started today with zeal and zest. The Tharus put on new clothes, gather at the house of a village caretaker (Bhalabhansa) and take part in revelry during this festival which is marked as the advent of the New Year. Besides, they discuss with their neighbours about the works to be carried out in their settlements. Some even divide their parental property on this occasion. During the festival, servants, village caretakers, healers (Guruwa) and watchmen are also selected.

A village caretaker is liable for solving problems and a healer for treating sick people. Both have a special role to carry on cultures and traditions of this community. On the first day of the festival, a pig is slaughtered in every family and dishes are made from it. People take a holy dip in rivers or ponds, and seek blessings from the revered ones. Salt and rice are offered especially to near kin such as sisters, nephews and daughters.

Meanwhile, the Freed Kamaiya Society, Informal Service Centre, Tharu Welfare Council and Shaileshwari Films have, in an appeal, asked the parties concerned to declare a ceasefire at least for 15 days during the festival.