People belonging to the Tharu community celebrated Maghi festival with much fanfare in the Kathmandu Valley on Wednesday. Maghi is the biggest festival of the Tharu people, who form the fourth-largest community in the Himalayan nation, marking the community's New Year. The festival is celebrated over a week. During the festival, Tharus clean and decorate their houses to welcome their New Year, while also performing Shakiya Naach, a special dance organised during the festival. It is believed that the sun, on this day, begins its journey towards the north pole thereby increasing mercury in days to come. The Tharus bathe in rivers early in the morning and pray for the prosperity and well being. Similarly, they celebrated this festival by getting together as a family and friends, get together in a mela, dressing up in the traditional Tharu wear, eating, drinking and making merry. As part of the ritual, Tharus also select leaders for weddings, farmers and cowherds among others, during the festival.