KATHMANDU, Oct 20: The Nepal Sambat New Year 1138 is being celebrated across the country today amidst various programs.
The people of the Newar community have been celebrating the Nepal Sambat as New Year's Day at present. The Nepal Sambat is an indigenous calendar of Nepal.
It is believed the Nepal Sambat or calendar year was begun by Shankhadhar Sakhwa by relieving the people of Nepal off debt during the rule of Lichchhavi King Raghavdev in 880 AD.
Recognizing the contribution of Shankhadhar Sakhwa to the country and people, the government led by then Prime Minister Krishna Prasad Bhattarai had announced Sakhwa a national luminary on November 18, 1999.
Likewise, the Council of Ministers chaired by first Prime Minister of Republic of Nepal, Pushpa Kamal Dahal had on October 23, 2008 nationally recognized the Nepal Sambat propounded by national luminary Shankhadhar Sakhwa.
Also today, the people of the Newar community observe the Mha Puja ritual in the evening. Mha Puja is the worship of the self.
Mha Puja is based on the religious belief that the soul or self is the most important in the world and that if the soul is satisfied, the gods are also satisfied and one's life becomes meaningful and prosperous. It is observed in only the Newar community.(RSS)