Maghe Sankranti

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Maghe sankranti 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.

Observant Hindus take ritual baths during this festival, notably at auspicious river locations. These include Sankhamul on the Bagmati near Patan; 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, ghee 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.

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