Celebrating Yomari Punhi

12, Dec 2019 | nepaltraveller.com

Yomari Punhi, is a Newari festival celebrated during the full moon day of Thinlã, second month of the lunar Nepal Era calendar

Yomari Punhi is a Newari festival that marks the end of rice harvest, and is celebrated by making and eating Newari delicacy called Yomari. People of Kathmandu celebrate this festival by offering Yomari to Annapurna, ‘Goddess of Food Grains’ to thank her for the harvest. At the evening, children visit one door to other singing the traditional song ‘Yomari chwamu uki duney haaku’ and requesting Yomari.

Yomari literally translates into ‘Tasty Bread’. It is a confection of newly harvested rice flour dough shaped like fish, and traditionally filled with sesame seeds and Chaku (concentrated sugarcane juice, jaggery, ghee, and nuts), which is steamed later. Yomaris are also filled with Khuwa (milk thickened by heating in an open iron pan), mashed black lentil paste or minced meat.

People believe that Yomari takes away the cold. Also it is said that the longer the Yomari’s tail is, the shorter the winter is. In some places, like Hari Siddhi and Thecho, sacred masked dances are performed. The Newari community also prepares Yomari in shape of different deities (e.g. Laxmi, Kuber, Ganesh, etc.) They do this as a symbol of devotion to their deities.

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