Yomari Puni is one of the main festival celebrated in Panauti. Yomari Puni- meaning full moon of Yomari, one of the popular newar festivals observed every year during the full moon of December (Thilla Puni). A Yomari is a confection of rice flour (from new harvest) dough shaped like fig and filled with chaaku (brown crane sugar) and teel (sesame seed), which is then steamed. The named yomari comes from two Nepal bhasa words “Yo” meaning “to like” and “mari” meaning “delicacy”. So literally it is likely delicacy. The people prepared Yomaris in the form of god and goddess such as Kuber, Ganesh, Laxmi,panauti jatra Moon and two big Yomari, named “nayou and bayou”. The delicacy is the chief item on the menu during the post harvest celebration of Yomari puni. On this full moon day Newar community offer worship to Annapurna, the goddess of grains for the rice harvest. Group of kids go neighborhood and performed the customary songs and asked for Yomari from housewives in the evening. Kathanganesh jatra is also observed in panauti to mark this festival. The Newars, upon munching a mouthful of Yomari, await the end of their four days of devotion of the god, following which they will be blessed with wealth, according to their belief. In keeping with the culture, parents blessed children from two to twelve years who are then offered Yomaris on their birthday. Yomari is widely used in other auspicious occasion of Newars such as birthday, jankoo, first rice feeding of child, dhau-bajee feeding to pregnant women etc. MYTH Myth has it that Suchandra and Krita, a married couple of panchal nagar (panauti) were very rich and kind. There were very helpful and kindful to poor and offered them with wealth without any hesitation. Once Kuber, a god of wealth wanted to examine the kindness of the couple. So he incarnates himself as normal poor man and went to beg to Suchandra. Suchandra welcome the poor man with great hospitality. On that day the couple first experimented with fresh yield of rice from their field. And what to shape turned out came to be named as Yomari. 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. The Myth further stated that on the same day the couple offered the god of wealth, kuber who was there to examine the couple with the new delicacy. Following this kuber disclosed his real identity and blessed the couple with wealth. He also declared that whoever will prepare Yomari in form of god and goddess on the full moon of thilla puni and observed four days of devotion to god, will get rid of poverty. The festival is celebrated on the second day when prayers are offered during which the Yomari are stored and not eaten at that very day. On the fourth and final day the people belonging to Newar community consumed the sweet bread as a Prasad from the god and this practice also marked the end of the festival.
Every Nepalese household believing in Lord Swosthani recites the story of Swosthani every year during the month called Magha. After the evening meal all family members and some neighbors who have no Swosthani readers gather together and sit to listen the story every night for the whole month.
Traditionally, anybody could read out the story, and a reader does not need to perform purification rituals; so, anybody willing to recite the story might sit and take the meticulously hand-written rectangular unbound book usually wrapped in a piece of red cloth and revered as a God Swosthani in Nepal Bhasa and read it out. Currently, printed books are available in the market in Nepal Bhasa and Nepali language, too. The reader performs a simple ritual of worship to the holy book and lights an incense stick to it before reading it. A small wicker basketful full of tidbits is placed nearby the Holy Scripture at the time of reading it out. After reading a few sheets of the book for a night, the reader distributes the tidbits to all listeners as the blessing from the god. The Swosthani story is about the creation of earth and the life on it. Then, it tells about mainly Lord Shiva, his two spouses, and two sons. His first tricky marriage with Satidevi ends up in tragedy, as Dacche Prajapati: father of Satidevi could never accept the unequal marriage. After the untimely death of Satidevi, Lord Shiva almost goes insane and carries the corpse on his back being unable to accept the reality of death of Satidevi. As the organs of the dead body of Satidevi falls one by one, each organ fallen at each place becomes a deity and takes the names of the organ. Satidevi in her next incarnation becomes the daughter of King Himalaya, and gets the name of Parbati. When she reaches puberty, her parents think to give her in marriage to Lord Vishnu but she dedicates her life to Lord Shiva and ultimately gets wedded to Lord Shiva.
The divine couple of Lord Shiva and Parbati have two sons called Ganesh and Kumar.Ganesh becomes an elephant-headed. After a long time out of his abode called Kailash, Lord Shiva comes back and finds Ganesh at the entrance guarding her mother Parbati to take a long bath in her inner sanctum, and refuses let him in not recognizing Lord Shiva. Fiery Lord Shiva in his anger cut off the head of Ganesh and enters his abode. Parbati finding Lord Shiva unexpectedly showing up in her inner sanctum feels something must have gone wrong to Ganesh. Lord Shiva realizes his mistake and asks his attendants to go immediately to the east and cut off the head of any living being they meet first on the way and bring it home. They bring a head of an elephant. Lord Shiva fixes it on the shoulder of Ganesh and revives him.
Lord Ganesh receives the boon of the privilege of having the first offering among the Hindu deities. When both Ganesh and Kumar come of age, the parents want to bestow a boon on one of them that completes a round trip to Mount Sumeru first. Kumar having a peacock as his vehicle immediately flies on it to Mount Sumeru but Ganesh having a mouse for his vehicle remains helpless and gets upset. His steed mouse finding its master so upset repeatedly asks Ganesh the reason for being so upset. Ganesh tells the reason. Then the mouse counsels Ganesh how to please his parents. Following the counsel of the mouse Ganesh goes to his parents and asks them to stand together and then makes three circles around them saying, you are the parents and the mount Sumeru for me. Then, Lord Shiva and Parbati together bestow on Ganesh the privilege of receiving the first offering among the deities. So, none of the Hindu deities accepts the offerings made to him/her without first offering to Lord Ganesh.
After the story of the divine couple, the story of the mundane folks starts.
A childless couple gets a girl child. A childless couple serves a holy man for years and pleases him. Then, the holy man gives them a lump of fresh cow dung and asks them to keep it under the cover of a brass bowel for twenty-one days and then see it on the twenty-second day. The couple follows the instructions and finds a girl child and names her a Go-maiju means born of cow dung.
Go-maiju becomes a spellbound. One day while Go-maiju was sorting small stones out of the rice spread on a large wicker cake, a holy man comes begging for alms. Go-maiju takes time to attend the holy man. The holy many burning with anger casts a spell on her: you at the age of seven be married with 77-year old man.
None can escape from such a spell and revoke the spell; even the spell-caster cannot do so at that time. So, Go-maiju gets wedded with a man of 77 years of age. Go-maiju gives birth to a son. The husband goes to get some auspicious items required for performing purification rituals of the birth of a child. He never returns home.
Nawraj: son of Go-maiju goes in search of his father and finds his remains and performs the funeral rituals to the remains of his father and completes the duty of a son to the father and sets the soul of his father in peace.
By the favor of Lord Swosthani, Nawraj becomes the king. Go-maiju is the devotee of Lord Swosthani and makes offerings to Lord Swosthani and listens to the story of Swosthani every year for a month. By the merits she has earned, her son Nawraj becomes the king but his spouse Chandra-woti falls in a swollen river and suffers for a long time, as she disrespects Lord Swosthani. She regains everything after atoning for the disrespect shown to Lord Swosthani. Thus, ends the story of Lord Swosthani.
A religious festival is held at Shalinadi River about 25 Km northeast of Kathmandu for a month starting on the full moon day of the month Magha and ending on the next full moon day. Hundreds of men and women devotees take a religious retreat at the shrine to Lord Swosthani on the bank of Shalinadi River for a month. They eat a single meal a day after fasting for a whole day and performing various religious rituals and listening to the story of Lord Swosthani.
Most of the believers in Lord Swosthani visit the Shalinadi River at least once during this auspicious month to revere Lord Swosthani. They also revere Chandra-woti her two carriers, and Nawraj in stones dedicated to them on the bank of the Shalinadi River.
The large plot of agricultural land turns into a car parking lot, and hosts a number of makeshift eating-places, and some sorts of stores for serving the pilgrims visiting the Shalinadi River for revering Lord Swosthani. About two-kilometer long road from the parking lot to the Shalinadi River becomes full of walking pilgrims from and to the Shalinadi River for about four hours in the morning every day for the month of Magha when the festival of Lord Swosthani is held.
One of the popularly celebrated festivities of Panauti that has remained evergreen is the Sakimana Punhi festival. It is, at best, the festival of grains like corn, soyabeans and boiled sweet potatos designed and decorated with the fruits and other sweets. Setting of grains and fruits forms the border lines like to the frame of a pictorial object.
Varities of grains, corns, roots and sweets are important for the event. Each individual household contributes certain amounts of grains, puffed sorns, sweets and steamed roots for the purpose. They skillfully utilize them in drawing and desigining pictorial forms . Local temples, chariots and symbol of monuments are formed using the grains and puffed corns.
Governed by the local Guthi-a traditional institution, an organ of Newar society plays the leading role for exhibition in every section the township. Irrespective of the location and conditons this festival is celebrated in all the places having Newar inhabitations. On the very evening the chaturmas vajan(hym enchanted for four month) is concluded.
Traditionally, it is celebrated by illuminating the locality with oil-lamps and making different structures infront of temple and monnuments out of the collected grains and corns. In process, the ground in front of the temples, monumental structures and the stupas is neately cleaned and a neat textile is spread over the grounds. Varities of grains and puffed corns are used like colors to create pictorial designs. Sweets and steamed roots form symbolic borderlinrs and the mountains of the Panauti.
Some significant features of the eves underlined are:
*Consecration of agro-products to the mother earth on the full moon
*Activate and mobilize local Guthi aa well as people to conserve the
*Culminate common cultural behaviour and attitude among local
*Promoting the sense of socio-cultural partnership.
*Letting people express exalted mood on good harvest.
*Enhance underlying talent capable of craftmanship.
*Exemplification of serine cultural night life.
As well as people also visit Namo Buddha Stupa in the hillock nearby the
town, where a mela takes place on this day.
We are screening documentary “SHELTER” on 25 Ashwin, 2070 Phulpati at Panauti Dabali at 5:30pm. We request you to join us. We are also collecting fund and support for squatter children so we expect for your kind support.
Shelter is a documentary film on the issue of Nepali Squatters. The film closely observes the life of a squatter family of a mother and a daughter and through self narration presents their struggle with life from the perspective of Meena Basnet the mother. It follows her journey of realization about the importance of education and her determination to educate her daughter at all cost. Besides the life of the family, the film covers squatter movements, role of government and role of political parties.
Dashain is one one of the biggest festival of Nepal. In this festival people from different place come to their home to celebrate this festival. Ghatasthapana marks the first day of Dasain, Nepali’s biggest festival. On this day people sow Jamara in their respective home after a small puja in their puja kotha. It is sowed upon a small mud bed for which mud is collected from nearby ponds or river. Jamara is the grown collection seedlings of barley and corn which is used while putting Tika.
Ghatasthapana marks the first day of Dasain, Nepali’s biggest festival. On this day people sow Jamara in their respective home after a small puja in their puja kotha. It is sowed upon a small mud bed for which mud is collected from nearby ponds or river. Jamara is the grown collection seedlings of barley and corn which is used while putting Tika.
Everyday little water is sprinkled on it and on the tenth day of Dasain which marks the day of Vijaya Dasami it is given to all of the family members along with Tikas by the elderly person of the family.
Beside residential home, Jamara is also sowed in different temples such as Layaku and Kot Ghar by priest or the care taker of the temple. Incase of Panauti Jamara is sowed at layaku,Kot Ghar(Meula Kot and Mul Kot) by Brahmin Rajopadhaya and tantric priest Karmacharya.
The literal meaning of Navarath is nine nights, it begins on the first day of the Dasain, Ghatasthapana and as it’s name suggests it is observed for nine days. During this period people visit different gods and goddess giving preference to the different forms of Devis or Shaktis named as Kaumari, Trimurti, Kalyani, Rohini, Kali, Chandi, Shovaki, Durga and Bhadra.
Incase of inhabitants of Panauti, during this nine days people visit Triveni Ghat as well as other religiously important places. People also worship nine different virgin girls respectively on the nine days considereing them as an incarnated form of the Devis, offering them food, clothes and money as per one’s capacity.
This is the ninth day of the festival; and all the arms and weapons are worshipped on this day collecting at the altar of the goddess. Many he goats and he buffalos are sacrificed and the blood is offered on the idol of the goddess Durga to appease her. People go with roosters, goats, pigeons and he buffalos to sacrifice in the name of Goddess and consume it as a prasad. Many people herd to worshipping at the strengthening point of the goddess mother. On this day like in Kathmandu Valley he buffalos are also sacrified at Taleju Temple at Layaku and Mul Kot ghar in Panauti.
This is the tenth day of the festival. The Tika and Jamara receiving exact auspicious time has been board casted by Panhanga Nirnayak Samiti, which is calculated by the team of Priests. People go to their respected elders house to house receive blessing. After the Tika they enjoy the day long eating the sumptuous foods. People exchange among each other the Vijaya Dasami greetings during the whole 15 days’ festival period. The Tika receiving procedure lasts for another four days till the shortly coming full moon and ends on this day. The Jamara and left Tikas are thrown in the river at some pious place at the end. This festival is believed to be practice since the silver age itself; on the happy occasion of slaughtering the cruel Demon by Lord Ram; by the grace of Goddess Bhagawati to relieve all the virtuous persons of this earth
Many of us have links and affiliations with organisations, lets us mobilize these links, let us talk to our family and friends, our neighbours and acquaintances about registering a site and cleaning up. it is so easy.
one step at a time- we can make a difference.
Together, let’s SPARKLE Panauti!
This group mainly focus on cleaning up Panauti Area. Any help from you all counts. Many many thanks.
Panauti Jatra is a combination of the palanquin and chariot festivals. It is the nine-day festival starting off on the tenth day of the bright fortnight of Jyestha (May-June) and ending on the third day of the dark fortnight in Ashad (June-July).
During the festival Goddess Brahmayani and God Mahadev are taken out on different portable shrines carried on shoulder poles whereas God Bhairava and Goddess Bhadrakali are pulled on chariots. Panauti Jatra is unique in the sense that Lord Mahadev: one of the Hindu Trinity that does not accept blood, is honored and revered along with other Tantric gods and goddesses that accept blood of sacrificial animals. Continue reading
Sithi Nakha falls on sixth day of the bright half of the month of Jetha(MAY/JUN). This festival is said to have been observed to mark the birthday of Kumar, the Hindu deity of war and one of the sons of Lord Shiva, to worship on his birthday as a mark of gratitude for fighting a battle with the demons and helping the Gods regain their kingdom.
The faithful celebrate Sithi Nakha by visiting Kumar”s temple in the southern part of Kathmandu. It is one of the main festivals to be observed by the native inhabitants of the Panauti Valley. On this day especially the Newars of the Panauti and Kathmandu Valley prepare a typically Nepali dish made of maas, black lentil, and mugi, kidney beans, kasu, small peas ground, bodi beans and offer it to Kumar. They take these dishes and enjoy themselves. Next day Kumar seated on a peacock beginning from Hanumandhoka Durbar Square is a chariot is carried by men in accompaniment with musical instruments played by a nominate party of men along the streets of Kathmandu, Kumar, being a war-lord, his conveyance has been a peacock, a bird of slow and cautious motion, quick change and flights all the qualities needed in an advancing army. Continue reading
In the Newar community, there is a unique tradition of marrying their girl child to the bel fruit (wood apple). One must be familiar with the term bel bibaha. The marriage between a virgin Newari girl and bel fruit is held before the girl attains puberty. This ensures that the girl acquires active and healthy reproductive powers. The group bel bibaha function is held every year at triveni ghat Panauti during Akshya titiya. Hundreds of Newar girls from and around Panauti participate in this function.Here the bel fruit is the bridegroom, representative of the eternal bachelor (Lord Kumar, son of Lord Shiva ). In this marriage ceremony, known as Ihi in Newari, Continue reading
“Mata Tirtha Aunshi”, translated as “Mother Pilgrimage fortnight”, falls in the month of Baishak dark fortnight (April/may). This festival falls in the dark moon’s time, which is why this called “Mata Tirtha Aunshi” derived from words: “Mata” meaning mother; “Tirtha” meaning pilgrimage.This festival is observed in the commemoration and respect of the mother, which is celebrated by worshiping and gifting living mother. Continue reading