Maghe Sankranti marked feasting on food varieties

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Jan 15, 2012-

Different communities from Himal, Pahad and Tarai regions residing in the Capital city on Sunday celebrated the Maghe Sankranti festival taking an early morning bath in holy rivers and feasting on several food varieties with different religious faiths.

Hindus mark this festival that falls on the first day of Nepali month Magh as the end of the gloomy month of Poush. Maghe Sankranti is considered the coldest day of the year and marks the start of warmer season. On this day, the sun is believed to leave its southernmost position and begin its northward journey.

People eat Chakku (retreated molasses), butter, Khichadi (hodgepodge of rice and black grams), Tilko  (sesame) laddoo, sweet potatoes, yam, spinach and other delicacies hoping for a good fortune.

Hindu culture expert Basudev Krishna Sastri says these types of foods provide heat to the body and keeps people healthy, thereby bringing good fortune. According to him, Hindus are celebrating this festival taking the same food varieties since the beginning of Hindu calendar more than 1 billion years ago.

The Kirat community also celebrates this festival to mark the development of their culture from the hunting stage to the farming stage. They consume yam, Iskush ko Jara (squash roots), sweet potatoes, and other food varieties. According to Kirat culture expert Khaling Kirat Devendra, these foods were consumed by Kiratis during the hunting and gathering state.

On this day, they eat delicious food and put tika of wild yam praying the God of Land for protection.

Likewise, the Tharu Community marked Maghe Sankranti as the beginning of their new year. They feasted on Dhikuri (steamed rice flour), Gungi (a type of snail), Anandi ko Jhol (alcoholic beverage) and varieties of food prepared from fish, pork and mouse.

Tharu culture expert Krishna Sarbahari said Maghe Sankranti is more like a social festival than religious for Tharus.

Published: 16-01-2012 08:24

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