Festivals of Dhanya Purnima, Udhauli‚ and Yomari Punhi Being Celebrated

Different festivals are being celebrated by various communities across the country today (December 13, 2016), coinciding with the full moon day of the month of Mangsir as per the lunar calendar.

People of Limbu community performing Chyabrung dance to celebrate Udhauli (Chasok Tangnam) festival in Phidim, on Tuesday, December 13, 2016. Photo: The Himalayan Times

The day is celebrated as the Dhanya Purnima by communities following the Hindu religion, while Newars celebrate the day as Yomari Punhi (or Jyapu Diwas). Kiranti people observe the Udhauli festival on the same day.

The Hindu festival of Dhanya Purnima marks the conclusion of the rice harvest season across the country. It is observed by stocking new grain and making offerings to god and goddesses to ensure plentiful supply of grains throughout the year.

Photo: Skanda Gautam/THT

Yomari Punhi is a Newari festival that also marks the end of the rice harvest. A type of Newari food is called Yomari  whereas Punhi means full moon’s day. In the festival, Annapurna, the goddess of grains and food, is worshipped to show gratitude towards her for good rice harvesting. People believe that it will bring wealth, health and prosperity throughout the year. Alongside, it is also the time when farmers finish harvesting and is the post-harvest celebration.

Yomari is the Newari food made of rice flour filled with molasses (chaku) and sesame seeds. It is the main food item during the festival. Different shapes of Yomaris are prepared in the form of gods and goddesses like Ganesh, Kumar, Laxmi and Kuber.

Photo: The Himalayan Times

Udhauli Parva is mainly celebrated by Kirant community like Rai, Limbu, Yakkha and Sunuwar of Kathmandu Valley and other parts of the country. The literal meaning of “udhauli” is going down. During winter, the birds and animals in upper hills migrate to lower lands. It is from this process that the nature-loving community got the festival’s name — Udhauli. It is believed that from this day, the winter season starts.

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