Magar indigenous communities observe Maghe Sakranti

Indigenous Voice
Indigenous Voice15 Jan 2015, Thursday
Magar indigenous communities observe Maghe Sakranti

Maghe Sakranti that falls mid-January is also one of the major festivals of Magar indigenous communities in Nepal. This festival is observed by Magar indigenous communities with much merrymaking for 3 to 7 days in every Magar villages across country.

This day is very important especially for two-indigenous nationalities in Nepal--Tharu and Magar, it is therefore, the government declared national festival of these two-indigenous peoples in the year 2009.

Magar indigenous communities observe this festival worshiping their ancestors as well as the nature. Magar is one of indigenous communities having a distinct language, culture, historical origin and the nature worshipers. 

Members of Magar community start preparing the celebration of the festival a week prior to the festival. They collect foodstuffs, prepare cuisines, buy newer clothes, and more importantly, the male members of the community gather at one place and play the special game of bow and arrow. At the meantime, they also invite their kith-and-kin staying in far distance.   

On the very day, the male members go to nearby river or stream, first take a dip and then worship to the river, nearby trees, and put tika on their forehead, and finally they flow some coins in the water. They believe that while doing this they flow their sin. After that, the junior visit to elders and take blessings.

Brothers put tika to their sisters and grand them gift, money and garland. If they don't have sisters, they invite the girls from village and put tika. Sisters visiting the brother's home from away distance bring the present along with the bread, wine for their brothers.

On this day, Magar indigenous communities take special 'melting food' and special traditional cuisine. On this day and evening, Magar communities spend the sleepless night dancing and singing. They perform Sorathi, Ghatu, Damfya, Maruni and special other dances.

Magar indigenous communities residing in Kathmandu on Thursday organized a special event at Khulamanch, the open studium in Kathmandu and celebrated the festival with much fanfare.

It is not only Magar and Tharu indigenous communities alone but also the Newar indigenous communities also observed the festival taking Ghree, Chaku and remembering their departed soul.