Maghi festival being observed with fanfare

KANCHANPUR: The people in the Tharu community, mostly from Dang to Kanchanpur in west Nepal, are observing Maghi, the greatest festival of the community.  The Tharu community observes this festival with much fanfare and gaiety for five consecutive days.

Maghi festival is celebrated as the New Year by sharing the sweet dishes and performing cultural dance and selecting community leaders known as Bhalmansa.

The Sakhiya dance performed with the tune of madal (hand drum) is popular among Tharu community people of all ages for centuries, which demonstrates the costumes, traditions and folk culture of Tharu, Man Bahadur Chaudhary, a leader of Tharu community from Kailari of Kailali district said.

Each and every household is preparing for the celebration of Maghi festival here, according to Chaudhary. Chaudhary is also a Bhalmansa, a leader of the Tharu community who decides the key issues at the community.

Celebration of the Maghi festival is not likely to be a personal decision by going beyond the decision of Bhalmansa.

The people should manage meat, especially pork, a day before Maghi festival while the women remain busy cooking local dishes including Jaad and Dhikri.

Dhamar and Dumru dances are also equally popular in the Tharu community in this festival.

Prem Chaudhary, a journalist from the Tharu community, said that the Tharu people have already slaughtered pigs in every house for the celebration of this festival.

Likewise, the married women have visited their maternal home to reunite with their parents, brothers and relatives to celebrate the Maghi festival, he added.

Furthermore, selection of Bhalmansa is equally crucial in the village during the Maghi festival. The tradition of Bhalmansa carries a great significance since the post has to carry some vital responsibilities in the community. The people here pick Bhalmansa unopposed if an agreement was forged but election and lottery draw are also exercised.

Similarly, a community postman known as Chirkiya, and Guruwa to serve as a community health worker are also selected who perform their jobs under the leadership of Bhalmansa.

In general, these leaders oversee the overall tasks of the community including protection of the village, development works, irrigation, drinking water supplies, power supplies and other issues that could surface in the community.

Defiance of the orders of Bhalmansa is considered as violation of social norms in the Tharu community and every individual should abide by the directive of Bhalmansa since this helps maintain discipline and collectivism in the community. RSS

 

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