Pokhara (Suraj Hazare Dahal): As Maghe Sankranti festival is knocking the door, there is a throng of lakecitians buying and selling yams, sweet potatoes, molasses, chaaku (sugarcane candy) in markets of Pokhara.
More than a dozen types of yams (tarul) are being sold in vegetable markets and footpaths. One can buy varieties of yams such as bann tarul, hatti-paile tarul, ghar tarul, simal yam, white yam etc. The most expensive variety is bann tarul (wild yam).
Price of forest yam ranges from Rs 180 to 300 per kilogram. According to Salina Thapa, a local from Maalepatan, the most tastiest one is Hatti-Paile Yam which has purple texture inside. Meanwhile, sweet potatoes are being sold between Rs 100-Rs 150 per kg. These edible roots are brought here from adjoining districts; Tanahu and Lamjung.
Every year according to Nepali calendar, Magh 1 is celebrated as Maghe Sankranti or Maghi. On the eve night yams, sweet potatoes are boiled and is eaten stale next day along with sesame sweet balls, chaaku and non-veg items.
Tharu people in southern belt celebrate this day as Maghi (new year) and people in hilly region as Maghe Sankranti.