Maghi Puja or Festival 2020/2077
Maghi puja is a religious and cultural festival being celebrated as a new year by Tharu community and Sikh people every year. On this puja devotees worship to the Sun God as a symbol of energy, power, divinity, wisdom and prosperity of the people. This festival is celebrated on the first day of Magh month every year as a new year by Tharu people in the Nepal. So, this festival is called Maghi Parva. Scientifically, this day signifies the beginning of longer day (end of winter and beginning of spring) which support people to work longer period for harvesting crops.
It is also celebrated at Muktsar in the memory of the forty Sikh people who were ready to sacrifice life for the life of 10th Guru. So it is the annual festival of Sikh people. Sikhs make a pilgrimage to the site of this Sikh-Mugal war.
When does Maghi Parva Fall in 2020/2077?
Every year it is celebrated on the 1st day (2077-10-01 Thursday) of Magh month according to the Nepali Calendar and it falls on 14th January, Thursday, 2020. It is celebrated to worship Son God who leaves the Southern hemisphere and moves towards northern hemisphere from this day. Somehow, this day is the last day of getting cold day because temperature go on increasing and hot season starts.
What are the Places and People where they Celebrate Maghi Parva or Puja?
As we know that no festivals remain the properties of only one place and one ethnic group of people. This is happening due to the modernization, migration and advancement of scientific tools and technologies. So Maghi is also not out of this chance and effect of modernization and social media. The main places are Terai region of Nepal where Tharu people celebrate this Maghi Parva as new-year every year, and in the different parts of India with different name like Assam as a name of Maghi Bihu, Maghi in Panjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, Thai Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Ghuhati in Uttarkhanda, Makara Sankranti in Odisha, Karnataka, Maharasthtra, Goa, Andhra Pradesh,Telangana and Uttar Pradesh and people living in these all places are being celebrated this Festival.
How do People Celebrate Maghi Festival or Parva?
Almost all people of these all places celebrate this festival in a similar way. There may be some differences due to the presence of climate and availability of resources. Generally, devotees prepare delicious food, sweets, laddu, phulaura, and tilother delicious items of food on the last day of Poush month and eat on the first day of Magh. So there is a saying that “Poush ma pakkya and Magh ma khakya” (preparing all delicious food and sweets on the last month of Poush and eat on the first day of Mahg) according to the Tharu culture of Nepal. They decorate their house by making different wall painting. Rural children go house to house for the collection of treats in some areas. People organize fairs (mela) on this day and so many people take part on the fairs too. Tharu performs varieties of dances and songs to protect their culture and tradition. All the devotees go to the nearby rivers to take bathe with the sacred water, with the beliefs of cleaning all the sins and dirt that people may have had to bear knowingly or unknowingly. This is actually called Makkar Nuhaunu (taking of makar bathe)
Devotees of Hindu people take ritual baths on this day. To take bath people go to different rivers like Sankhamul of Bagmati River near Patan, Gandaki and Narayani mixture point called Devghat near Chitwan Kaligandaki and Koshi Rivers and so on in the Nepal.
Usually mother of each house hold wishes for the good health, happiness and prosperity of all family members.
What Type of Food do People Prepare and Take on this Maghi Parva?
People of different places prepare varieties of food items according to their culture, traditions and available resources. However, main food items are: Laddu, Ghee, Sweet Potatoes, Selroti, Tilko (sesammun) laddu, Bhujako Laddu and special items of Fish. These are the main items and very important among them is Tilko (sesammun) laddu.
What are the Importance or Significance of the Maghi Parva?
There may have many significance of Maghi Parva or festivals. Some of very important significance are listed below:
- It protects natural environments as it keeps surrounding, rivers, ponds and stream neat and clean.
- This provides the information to the people about the movement of Sun as this day indicates that Sun leaves southern position and moves its journey northern ward.
- People become physically stronger because they have a trend of taking bathe on the one hand side and on the other hand side they take very nutritious food which is very necessary for doing strong physical labor used for harvesting purpose.
- It helps to build mutual relation with other social members.
- It creates suitable environment to hand over culture to the new generation.
- It helps to preserve cultural and ethnic identities of different people of different places with same motives.
Why Tharu Say Poush Ma Pakya and Magh Ma Khakya?
Yes Tharu people have a trend of celebrating Maghi Parva as a new year according to their culture and traditions. To celebrate this festival they need longer time to prepare varieties of food, it is not possible in the morning because they have to go to the river and stream to take holy bathe. That is why they have a trend of preparing these all items of food on the last day of Poush and eat on the 1st day of Magh. So this saying is popular in the Nepal, especially in the Maghi Parva.
Why is Maghi Called New Year in the Tharu Community or Culture?
Maghi is one of the great festival of Tharu people, which is celebrated on the 1st day of Magh Month according to Nepali calendar. Tharu people take this day as the beginning of new-year and they celebrate Maghi as a new year having various delicious food items. They celebrate as a joy and relax and want to pass whole year in the same way without suffering from any problems too. Actually, Tharu celebrate Maghi as a new year because in the ancient time Tharu people used to prepare plans for the whole year and act according to their plan. So this day is regarded new day and new-year. Same culture is being transmit from one generation to another generation one after another.