People Celebrate Yomari, Dhanya Poornima And Udhauli Festivals

People Celebrate Yomari, Dhanya Poornima And Udhauli Festivals

Dec. 22, 2018, 8:34 a.m.

The Yomari Punhi or Yomari Poornima, Dhanya Poornima and Udhauli festivals are being observed across the country today.

The Yomari Poornima is a festival observed by the Newar community of the Valley and is believed to have started 400 years ago. A special delicacy made of rice flour and molasses called Yomari is the major attraction of this festival.

The day is also observed as the Jyapu Day.

Also today, the hilly people observe the Gaidu pooja by worshipping their ancestors and the sacred cowshed, according to chairperson of the Nepal Calendar Determination Committee Prof Dr Ram Chandra Gautam. This full moon day is also called the Dhanya Poornima.

Coincidently, the day also happens to be the Udhauli festival observed by people from the Kirant community. This festival is observed wishing for a good harvest by worshipping the soil and nature, according to Kirti Kumar Dumi Rai, who has been studying the Kirant culture. People from the Rai, Limbu, Sunuwar and Yakhya ethnicities observe this festival.

Yomari Punhi

Yomari Punhi is a harvest festival celebrated by the Newari people. The festival gets its name from Yomari, fresh-harvest rice sweetmeat, prepared especially during the festival and enjoyed by all.

People of the Kathmandu Valley offer worship to Annapurna, the Goddess of Grains, for the rice harvest on this full moon day. According to the legends Suchandra and Krita, a married couple, first experimented with fresh yield of rice from their field at present day Panauti in ancient times. And what took shape turned out to be known as Yomari.

Fresh Yomari, a rice sweetmeat, filled with molasses and sesame seed, enjoyed by Newars of Kathmandu valley during Yomari Punhi, a harvest festival.

The new delicacy was eventually distributed among the villagers. As the food was liked by all, the bread was named Yomari, which literally means ‘tasty bread’ in Newari language. Yomari is a sweetmeat of rice-flour (from the new harvest) dough, shaped like fig and filled with molasses and sesame seeds, which is then steamed.

This delicacy is the chief item on the menu during the post-harvest celebration of Yomari Punhi. Groups of kids go to the neighborhood to requesting for Yomari cakes from housewives in the evening. Sacred masked dances are performed in the villages of Harisiddhi and Thecho at the southern end of the valley to mark the festival.

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