Bardiya, Jan 15: The people of the Tharu community in Bardiya are celebrating the Maghi Festival with enthusiasm and gaiety today, like fellow Tharus across the country.
The festival is observed on the first day of the Nepali month Magh every year. On the occasion of this festival, the Tharus review the works done in the past year and also discuss and allocate works to be done in the New Year.
On the day of the festival, the Tharus get up early in the morning, take bath, pay obeisance to elders and seek their blessings.
Mr Chukka Tharu, an elderly of local Padnaha, said that there is also a tradition among the Tharus to present gifts of various food items as rice grains, salt, lentils, dhikri, fish and meat, and clothes to sisters on this day.
The married-off sisters are invited to their parental homes offered the gifts while those sisters who cannot make it to their parental homes are given the gifts at own homes by brothers or parents.
Also on this day, the Tharus select a new tribal leader called Badghar in Tharu parlance.
The Tharus, bedecked in their traditional new dress, enjoy delicacies and sumptuous meal on the day of Maghi festival with the accompaniment of singing and dancing.
A big religious fair is taking place at the Thakurbaba Temple at Thakurdwara VDC on the occasion. Devotees from Banke, Bardiya, Dang, Kailali and Kanchanpur as well as from India come here for the fair that lasts for two days.