KATHMANDU, Jan 14: The Maghe/ Makar Sankranti or Maghi, which is celebrated on the first day of the month of Magh every year, is being observed throughout the country today.
People take dips in rivers and ponds, meditate and worship various gods. On the day of Maghe Sankranti, it is customary to eat ghee, molasses, sesame seeds and yam, among other food items. As these dishes provide warmth in winter, hot dishes are eaten during the cold season.
This particular day holds an astrological significance because the day marks the beginning of the sun's ascendancy to enter into the northern hemisphere. From today, the nights will become shorter than days. Devotees flock to Devghat, Trishuli, Kaligandaki, Bagmati, Indrawati, Triveni, Ridi and other places to take holy dips. Special fairs are organized in these places today.
People from Terai celebrate the day as a bathing festival. There is a religious belief that donating sesame seeds after taking a bath at the shrine in the morning is as good as donating gold.