Yomori Punhi is celebrated by the Newar community of Nepal. Yomori is a dumpling and is a delicious Newari sweet dish. It is made with rice flour and (Khuwa) reduced dry milk or ricotta cheese. Other sweets (Chaku) can also be used instead of reduced dry milk. Yomori literally means, sweet cake. On this day, kids run around the neighborhood, asking housewives for this sweet cake.
When is Yomori Punhi celebrated?
Yomari Punhi is a Newari festival marking the end of the rice harvest. It takes place in November/December during the full moon day.
Why is Yomori Punhi celebrated?
Yomori Punhi is celebrated to mark the end of the rice harvest season. People believe this celebration brings them wealth, health and prosperity. While making yomori, people also prepare them in the shapes of Kumar, Ganesh, Lamxi and Kuber.
How is Yomori Punhi celebrated?
On this day, people worship Goddess Annapurna, goddess of grains. Since, this day is celebrated to mark the end of the rice harvest. Sacred masked dances are also performed in different places like town of Thecho and Hari Siddhi, located in the southern end of the Kathmandu. There is a tradition of making garland of yomari and putting 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 years old kids on their birthdays by their mother.
History Behind the celebration
The festival is believed to have started from Panchal nagar (Panauti). It is said Suchandra and Krita, a married couple, first experimented with fresh yield of rice from their field. They came out in the shape of yomari. The new food was distributed among the villagers. The food was liked by all, the bread was named yomari, which literally means ‘tasty bread’.
The couple offered yomari to Kuber (god of Wealth) who was disguised and passing by. Kuber was happy and disclosing himself blessed the couple with wealth. He also declared that whoever prepares yomari in the form of gods and goddesses on the full moon day of Marga Sukla Purnima every year and observes four days of devotion to god, will gain wealth and prosperity.
The festival is celebrated for four days. All the four days people pray and worship. A big celebration is observed at night in Dhaneshwar Mahadev temple in Banepa. There is a tradition of doing Deepavali at home. People worship god Kuber, Ganesh and goddess Subhadra in these 4 days.
On the second day Yomari is prepared in the shape of gods and goddesses and stored inside the rice silo (bhakari) and worshiped. On the fourth day Yomari is eaten as Prasad and believed that those gods in the form of yamari enter the human body and worship and take yamari Prasad. People distribute yomari and rice to yomari asking kids home to home. On this day goddess Durga is worshiped as Dhanyalaxmi or Annapurna mata.
Yamori is compared with the earth. Two sides of Yamari are assumed as North and South Pole. The stuffing of brown cane sugar (chaku) and sesame seeds is regarded as Mahamaya (almighty God). Sometimes, meat is also stuffed in yamari, that yamari is assumed as lord Ganesh. The yomari with black lentils is regarded as God Kumar. On the fourth and the final day the people eat the sweet yomari bread as Prasad and this marks the end of the festival
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If you want to learn more about other festivities here are some popular ones:
- Deepwali: Festival of Lights
- Gai Jatra: The Procession of the Cow
- Significance of Janai Purnima or Rakshya Bandhan
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Content Sources: Wiki