I think many of you know already that from my previous posts that Nepal follows a different calendar than the Gregorian calendar. So the months are different and the start and end of the months do not match with the Gregorian calendar. Also Nepali people have lots of festivals according to their own calendar.
On Sunday, 15 January, it was 1st of Magh 2068. This day is called Maghe Sankranti. It is the end of winter and start of warmer days in Nepal which is also believed to bring an end to the ill-omened month of Poush when all religious ceremonies are forbidden.
Normally people go to holy rivers around the country like Devghat, Dolalghat, Sankhamul Ghat to take a holy dip in the morning and offer auspicious food like laddoos (sesame seeds candy ball), chaku (molasses), ghee (clarified butter), sweet potatoes, yam, khichari (mixture of rice and lentils) and green leaf spinach to the gods. Then in the afternoon and evening there will be a bhoj (get together) to eat all these food they have prepared.
Chaku (Molasses) is a viscous by-product of the processing of sugar cane, grapes or sugar beets into sugar.
Laddoos (sesame seeds candy ball) is made with black or white sesame seed and chaku . They are sweet like candy and very tasty.
In Newari culture, this day is also known as ‘Ghyo-Chaku Salu’ which means the day to eat chaku (molasses) and ghee (clarified butter).
Days leading to this festival, you will see vendors in the street selling lots of sweet potatoes and yam as well as molasses and black and white sesame candy balls all across the country. I love the white ones 🙂
When I was in Nepal, I remember going to my grand ma’s house with my brother and she would put mustard oil on our head and bless us. Then we would be given khichari with melted Ghee and Chaku with sweet potatoes and yam. I really miss those days.
Happy Maghe Sankranti!!!