Beni, Apr. 5: The Magar communities in Myagdi district are excited to celebrate Bhume Puja. It falls at this time of the year. The Bhume Puja is a traditional worship of nature of the Magar people to please the nature.
It was performed amidst festivities at Beg, Banduk of Raghuganga Rural Municipality-1 and in Chimkhola, Ward No 7 of the same rural municipality on Tuesday. The annual ritual is observed on what is called the ‘Ujeli Mangalbar’ or the first Tuesday during the bright half in the month of Chait as per the lunar calendar.
As the Magar people live near forests and agriculture is their traditional occupation, they perform Bhume Puja or the land worship. Thak Bahadur Paija, the Ward Chair of Raghuganga Rural Municipality, Ward No 7, said these rituals are performed so that disasters like floods, landslide and hailstone would not occur.
The Bhume Puja was celebrated at the temples at Bhume, Mandali and Tapkebhera in Chimkhola. Devotees from various places in the district had gathered at these shrines for performing the worship with the belief that observance of the ritual will fulfill wishes.
Male sheep is sacrificed at Bhumethan shrine while a female lamb is sacrificed at the Mandali Bajai shrine. Some devotees also offer coconut and pigeons at the Mandalithan shrine. Cultural programmes are also organised as part of the Bhume Puja during which the devotees participate in dances, singing and merry-making while enjoying a sip of Chhyang, the home-brewed beer.
The Chhyang is first offered to the deities before it is given to the people. On the occasion of Bhume Puja, the Magar people also worship the ‘river deities’ and the gods and goddesses who are believed to live on hill tops.