Maghe Sankranti

Maghe Sankranti

Maghe Sankranti, or the first day of the tenth month of the Bikram Sambat calendar which heralds the onset of warmer weather is a major secular festival of the Nepalese. Known as Makker Sakranti in other parts of India, the festival is observed for three days, usually in mid January. It falls on the fourteenth of January every year. A bathing festival called Makkar is observed, when people take a dip at the confluence of the Tista and Rangit.

On this day huge Fairs and melas are held in many places along the river banks and confluence of rivers. The biggest and most awaited is the Jorethang Maghe Mela, held in Jorethang in south Sikkim. It has now become a major event, attracting hordes of locals and tourists. The mela is said to have evolved from the agricultural fair that was held in Jorethang for the first time in 1955. Hundreds of stalls selling and exhibiting various products are put up for the huge number of people who visit the fair.