Friday, January 14, 2011

Tharus’ Maghi begins on Saturday

The Maghi Festival of the Tharus is due to be held in Kathmandu on Saturday, following the formal opening of the Nepal Tourism Year 2011.

According to the Tharu festival organising committee, the two-day festival will be organised in Khullamanch and Ratnapark. It will feature typical Tharu dances like Sakhiya, Hridangwa, Ghumra, Jhumra, Maghauta, Jharra and Lathwa. Tharu food items like rat pickle, crab pickle, fish, teel ko laddu (seasame seed ball), pork curry and a variety of breads will add colour to the biggest festival of the community.

“The festival is an opportunity to promote our songs, dances, food items, books, handicrafts and other aspects of culture,” said Premi Lal Chaudhary, coordinator of the organising committee. “The festival will also help promote the tourism year.”

Since 2002, the festival is being celebrated in Kathmandu. This year, it will be celebrated for two days unlike in the past when it used to be marked for one day.

Maghi marks the beginning of the New Year for the community and is celebrated throughout the Nepali month of Magh. The festival has other names like Magh, Maghi Sankranti and Maghi Daywani, varying from place to place.

“Maghi is also a liberation day for us as it was the only occasion for the Kamaiyas (bonded labour) of our community to take a break from their regular chores before they were legally freed on July 17, 2000,” said former Minister Gopal Dahit.

Courtesy: The Kathmandu Post

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