Maghe Sankranti : Overview
The 12 months, the 4 seasons and the 12 months and the 12 solstices are the important enumerators of Vikram Samvat. The days of the year that start from Vaishakhe Sankranti end in various mid-Sankranti and Maghe Sankranti, reaching the middle of Chait.
Maghe Sakranti, the first day of the month of Magh, an important month of mid-winter. On this day the Sun enters Capricorn from Sagittarius and this day is celebrated as Maghe Sakranti, Tiluwa Sakranti or Makar Sakranti or Maghi with its own characteristics and cultural significance. Sesame has a special significance in Sanatan Saskar, whether it is for home chanting, as a charu, or for worship and charity, or for any patriarchal and good deeds, sesame is indispensable.
On Maghe Sankranti, it is famous for sesame dishes. Laddu made by frying sesame seeds and rubbing it in sakhkar is a special dish of today, that is why Maghe Sakranti is also called Tiluwa Sakranti. On the other hand we have read in geography about North Pole and South Pole i.e. North and South Pole, the direction of Sun and Earth is also calculated and measured based on the position of almost the same pole, from today the direction of Sun is moving towards North Decreasing and increasing with spring and summer.
Food In Maghe Sankranti
And the ghee, the knife, the sesame laddu, the bhuja laddu and the chura laddu are ready? What did you build on? Sugar, or sugar cane or honey?
Tarul, Sakhkharkhand, Pidalu are left to boil or are they done? And what about Khichdi (Jaulo)? A proverb related to barley is very popular in the Terai, “Khichdike Char Yaar, Dahi Papad Ghee Aa Achar”. According to this Maithili proverb, khichdi has four friends, curd, papad ghee and pickle. And are you ready to eat these things or are you thinking of eating hot with other things?
This warm winter festival, Maghe Sankranti, knocked on the door. Bathing in the morning, wearing clean clothes, giving alms to Brahmins, and even worshiping Lord Rudri or Satyanarayana in some houses today. Dishes mixed with sesame seeds and yams and yams help keep the body warm in winter. In this sense, it is confirmed that there are many scientific and meaningful cultures in Nepali people’s life.
Eating such nutritious food can provide warmth as well as relief from other skin diseases and joint problems.
Religious and Mythological Beliefs of Maghe Sankranti
Let’s talk about the religious and mythological beliefs of this day. In the Mahabharata, Bhishma Pitamah had the gift of wishing death. On the battlefield, Arjuna’s bow and arrows pierced his body everywhere. Today there are crowds of pilgrims bathing in various ghats, rivers and shrines. Devghat of Nawalparasi, Chatara of Sunsari, Kaligandaki bank, Setiveni of the mountain, Bagmati bank of Kathmandu Shankhamool etc. are the places where devotees bathe.
It is also customary to burn sesame seeds after bathing in this way. There is a belief that if you take a bath like this, you will be forgiven. It is mentioned in the Bhavishyapurana that if you take a bath on this day and donate ghee, knife, sesame laddu, vegetables, yam, clothes, water jug and makal, you will get special fruits.
In Madhes, the Maithil and Tharus communities celebrate this festival with great harmony. In the Tharu community, this day is celebrated almost as New Year in the form of Yele Duganka.
Today, the Kirant dynasty is believed to have invaded the Kathmandu Valley and achieved victory. In the Tharu community, it is customary to slaughter pigs on the last day of the month of Poush. The rice mill called Anandi is very popular in the western Tharu community. In the same way, it is customary for the daughters to come to the family and send ‘nisrau’, i.e. gifts, when they return.
In the Newar community, Maghe Sankranti is celebrated under the name ‘Ghuchaku Salhu’. They make laddu by mixing sesame seeds in a knife and eat it and donate it. Today, the historic Capricorn Fair is held in Panauti, near the Kathmandu Valley.
Maghe Sankranti is also a major festival of the Magar caste in Nepal. Maghe Sankranti has been recognized as the national festival of the Magars. In the Magar community today, the game of tarot is very popular.
In this festival, the Magars worship the Chelibeti and the fathers with pomp for three days. Since the solstice of the crocodiles is incomplete without forest yams, they bring forest yams from the forest before the solstice and cook the forest yams on the night before the solstice. The men of the house add brightness to the festival by shooting arrows. They hit the target with a round mark with embers on a wooden flake. The person who hits the target is carried around the village with respect and wearing bitter leaves on his shoulder and is given food.
The children of the Magar community gather in the evening and go from house to house asking if they have any intestines. The people in the house give the leftover food to the children and the children go to another house rejoicing.