मातातीर्थ औंसी (Matatirtha Aunsi) is a Hindu festival celebrated in Nepal, which falls on the new moon day in the Nepali month of Baishakh (April/May). It is also known as “Mata Tirtha Puja” or “Mata Tirtha Aunsi”.
The word “Matatirtha” is a combination of two words, “Mata” which means mother, and “Tirtha” which means a sacred place. As the name suggests, the festival is dedicated to mothers and is celebrated by paying homage to them.
The festival holds immense significance in Nepalese culture, and it is considered one of the most important festivals after Dashain and Tihar. It is celebrated with great joy and enthusiasm in Nepal, especially in the Kathmandu Valley.
On this day, children, regardless of their age, pay respect and offer gifts to their mothers. Those who are unable to be with their mothers on this day visit Matatirtha, a famous pilgrimage site in Kathmandu, to take a holy bath and offer puja (worship) to their departed mothers.
The legend behind the celebration of Matatirtha Aunsi is associated with a story from Hindu mythology. According to the legend, a man named Hariti had lost all her children to a demon. She was devastated and inconsolable. Lord Buddha took pity on her and asked her to go around the town and collect a handful of mustard seeds from every household that had never experienced death.
Hariti went from house to house, but she couldn’t find any household that had not experienced the loss of a family member. She finally realized that death is inevitable, and everyone must face it. She returned to Lord Buddha and became his follower. She was then blessed with a new child, and she lived the rest of her life spreading the teachings of Lord Buddha.
Since then, Nepalese people have been celebrating Matatirtha Aunsi in honor of mothers, who are considered the epitome of love and sacrifice. It is a day when children show their appreciation and gratitude towards their mothers for all that they have done.
In conclusion, Matatirtha Aunsi is a festival that celebrates the love and sacrifice of mothers. It is a beautiful way of acknowledging and appreciating the role that mothers play in our lives. This festival reminds us to respect and cherish our mothers, not just on this day but every day of our lives.