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Maghe Sakranti being observed

Gorkha Post



KATHMANDU — The Maghe or Makar Sankranti, the first day of the month of Magh in the Lunar calendar, is being observed throughout the country today.

On the occasion, Hindus take holy dips in rivers and ponds, worshiping at various temples and savoring various delicacies like ghee, yam, khichadi and sweets like chaku and sweets made of sesame and molasses.

According to the astrological chart, the Makar Sankranti has a special significance as the sun enters into the northern hemisphere from this day onwards.

On this day, the sun moves from the tropic of Sagittarius to tropic of Capricorn. It is believed that the days get longer from today itself.

According to ‘Bhabisya Puran’ and ‘Dharma Sindhu’, religious texts, the devotees will get special blessings and will have robust the body if they observe the festival as per the rituals.

The Newar Community observe the festival by taking ghee, chaku and remembering the departed souls. This festival is called as ‘Ghyo Chaku Sallnhu’ in Newari language. The seniors apply mild-hot edible oil to heads of juniors on this day.

Similarly, Tharus mark the festival by taking a dip in rivers and receiving blessings from elders. Tharus celebrate the festival as Maghi, beginning of the New Year.

A large number of devotees throng Devghat, Barahchhetra, Ridi, Panauti, Dolalghat and Kankai in Nepal and Prayag and Gangasagar in India to take a holy bath and perform Sharaddha.

The festival has significance in view of Ayurveda and medical science also. Food items that are taken on this day are the sources of balance diet which increase the immunity power of the human body.

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On this day, a festival is organized at the Tilmadhav Narayan Temple at Taumadhi Tol, Bhaktapur and Pooja of Deepakankar Buddha is performed.

The government has declared a public holiday to mark the festival today.


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Holi being celebrated in Terai today

Gorkha Post



Tourists enjoying Holi at Themel, Kathmandu on Thursday. RSS photo

KATHMANDU — Holi, the festival of colors, is being celebrated in various Tarai districts on Friday, a day after it was celebrated in hills and Kathmandu valley by exchanging wishes and smearing colourful powders and throwing colours and water-filled balloons at each other.

Holi is regarded as one of the most important festivals in the southern plains where the locals invite friends and relatives in their houses and serve them delicious food on the occasion.

People have descended on the streets and celebrated the festival, spraying each other with colours and water.

There is the mythology of the demon king Hiranya Kashyapu releted to the Holi celebration, who had ordered his sister Holika to enter into a fire along with Pralhad, son of the demon king and a devout follower of Lord Bishnu, in her lap so that Pralhad would stop chanting the name of the lord.

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The catch was that Holika wouldn’t burn in the fire because of a boon she had received from god. But it so happened that the fire burnt Holika whereas Pralhad remained unharmed and came out of the fire still chanting the name of god. Therefore, the festival has been linked to this legend and is celebrated by smearing colour in enjoyment.

Meanwhile, Police have arrested 167 persons from across Kathmandu Valley for allegedly misbehaving with strangers and passers-by on the pretext of Holi festival today. According to police, those arrested for playing Holi in an indecent manner will be charged under Public Crime and Punishment Act, 1970 upon necessary screening and profiling of the suspects.

Similarly, 523 motorcyclists faced action for violating traffic rules and driving under the influence.

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