Mata Tirtha Aunshi (मातातीर्थ औंसी) (widely known as Mother’s day in Nepal), also known as “Aama ko Mukh Herne Din (आमाको मुख हेर्ने दिन)”, is an auspicious Nepali Festival of the Hindu mythology. Like in any other community, ethnicity or religion, Mother’s day in Nepal is also celebrated to pay homage to mothers for their unconditional love and support. Mother’s day, rather being celebrated as a festival of a particular group or community, is observed as a tradition nationwide.
Mother’s Day In Nepal
Mother’s day is observed on Baisakh Krishna Aunshi. According to Nepali calendar 2076 – this year the day coincides in 21st Baisakh, 2076 B.S. (4th May, 2019 AD). People present their mothers with utmost respect and love in the form of her favourite food, clothing and various other gifts. This tradition is simply to recognize and respect a mother’s love and sacrifice.
Since, the day is an auspicious day, people give tribute to their mothers at home, offering them with delicacies, finery, clothing and gifts. Those whose mothers have deceased, go to the Mata Tirtha Pilgrimage (about 15 km to the eastern side of Kathmandu valley, beside Mata Tirtha Village Development Committee). Some, who can’t attend the Mata Tirtha Pilgrimage, visit Pashupati Temple to honor their departed mothers. They do Sida Daan (the deed of donating Sida, a holy mixture of rice grain and pure food materials along with clothes).
During their visit to the Mata Tirtha Pilgrimage, people take a shower in the water taps and make offerings to the holy pond with the belief that the souls of their departed mothers come to the pond and accept their offerings. While those visiting Pashupati temple perform Sharadhha or Pinda Daan, a rite performed for the peace of departed souls. Some people also perform the ritual at home or any holy places nearby.
Mother’s day Sanskrit mantra
स्नात्वा करोतिम य्: श्राद्धं माघो: कृष्णकुहौ दिने ।
वियोग न भवेन्मातु: वार्धक्येऽपी सुनिश्चितंम ।।
तृप्ता भवति तन्माता स्नानमात्रेण चात्र वै ।
ऋण: प्रमुच्यते सद्धो मातृगर्भस्थितोभ्दवै ।।
Meaning of the mantra
One who takes a holy bath in the Mata Tirtha River on Bisakh Krishna Aunshi, does not need again to come in mother’s womb for next life. One shall get salvation from human life, and achieve moksha.
Folklore Behind Mother’s Day
According to the legend, a boy took his cattles to the nearby pond. But whenever he started eating his food, some portion would fall in the river. It is said that when he happened to glance at the pond to find what was going on, he saw his dead mother. Like any loving child would, the boy asked his late mother to come with him. Since, the mother was already dead, she told that she couldn’t go with him. Instead she said that she would pay him a visit every year on Baisakh Krishna Aunshi. Since, then people started visiting the pond to see their mothers.
Also, it is said that, once a lady visited the pond to see her departed mother but she couldn’t and in vexation, she jumped in the pond. Thereafter, it is believed that because of her suicide, dead people stopped visiting the pond. However, people still visit the pond, with a hope that they can find a reflection of their mothers in the pond.
Also read about other Nepali Festivals