Maghe Sankranti

Maghe or Makar Sankranti is one of the most significant festivals celebrated by Nepalese. Sankranti refers to the first day of every month. This is the reason why the festival is called Maghe Sankranti. This festival is celebrated to mark the end of month Poush – a month in which all religious ceremonies are forbidden.

 The beginning of the holy season

According to Mahabharat, Bhisma, who had the power to control his own death had chosen to die on the same day. So , it is believed that those who die on this day achieve Mokshya i.e. they will be free from the suffering of life, death and rebirth.

On this day, people take a holy bath on holy rivers early in the morning which is known as ‘ Makar Snan’. Sankranti fairs are held on banks of holy rivers like  Trishuli and kali Gandaki. The Kankai river as well as Devghat are famous for holy bath and pilgrims from places as far as India come to take a holy dip in these rivers.

women taking bath

The festival is referred to as Maghi in the Tharu community. This is one of their biggest festivals and lasts longer than in other communities. They have a huge feast starting from the end of Poush to 3rd of Magh. Newars on the other hand  refer this festival as Maghe Sangranti Ghyo Chaku Sanun.  On this day they massage their body and head with Sesame oil.

ghiu chaku

The festival is particularly special because of the varieties of food items that is prepared on this day. The main food item on this day is laddu made of teel (sesame seed fudge)  and bhuja (puffed rice),  sweet potatoes , yam and  chaku (molasys). These food are healthy and bring warmth to the body in the cold season.


Hope Maghe Sankranti not only brings a warm season this year but also warmth in the heart of all Nepalese.