is a Nepalese
festival observed on the first of Magh
in the Bikram Samwat Nepali calendar
(about January 14) bringing an end to the ill-omened month of Poush
when all religious ceremonies are forbidden. On this day, the sun is believed to leave its southernmost position and begin its northward journey. Maghe Sankranti is similar to solstice
festivals in other religious traditions.
take ritual baths during this festival, notably at auspicious river locations. These include Sankhamul on the Bagmati
; In the Gandaki/Narayani
river basin at Triveni near the Indian border, Devghat
near Chitwan Valley
and Ridi on the Kaligandaki; and in the Koshi River
basin at Dolalghat on the Sun Koshi. Festive foods like laddoo
and sweet potatoes
are distributed. The mother of each household wishes good health to all family members.
The legend states that a successful businessman was curious as to why his supply of sesame seed seemed to be never ending. When he inspected the bag he found an idol of Lord Vishnu, the preserver .
According to Mahabharata
, king Bhisma
, who had the power to control his own death, happened to choose to die on the day of Maghe Sakranti. Therefore it is believed that one to die on this day might achieve Moksha
, a release from rebirth cycle.