A plate full of Yomari.
A plate full of Yomari.

Yomari Punhi- Nepal's harvest festival begins with preparation of delicacies

ANI | Updated: Dec 30, 2020 23:20 IST

Kathmandu [Nepal], December 30 (ANI): With the preparation of Yomari, a steaming hot delicacy shaped like a fig, filled with molasses and sesame seeds, Nepal's Newa Community marks the start of rice-harvesting session in the country from the day of the full moon of Poush.
The harvest festival marked with fanfare by Newa community of Kathmandu Valley get its name from Yomari, the fresh-harvest rice sweetmeat prepared on the full moon of Poush- the 9th month according to Lunar Calendar.
"In order to make it, we first need pure taichin (type of rice) rice flour, molasses or gundpak (a kind of nutritious sweet) and Khoa (a dairy product) which needs to be pure- especially locally made. At first the water is boiled and the rice flour made from latest harvest is kneaded and is made by making an opening in the center and filled with fillings," Hari Chandra, a local vendor in streets of Kathmandu who made and sold Yomari on Yomari Punhi: the full moon day of Poush told ANI.

Newa Community worships Annapurna, the Goddess of Grains, for rice harvest on this full moon day. As per various beliefs, Suchandra and Krita, a married couple, first experimented with a fresh yield of rice from their field at present-day Panauti City in ancient times.
The couple then distributed new delicacy to the villagers which was liked by all and it was named Yomari, which in Newa: Language means "tasty bread." It is not only tasty but also helps one to keep warm in winter as well as helps to increase blood and sperm.
"It is linked with our culture and tradition along with its continuation. Also, it is Yomari Punhi- as per our Newari calendar and due to the chilling cold people would seek to eat something that keeps them warm which indeed has become our rites," Manaraj Shiltang, a denizen of Kathmandu said.
Usually, the Yomari Punhi falls on the full moon day of Thinla, the second month of the Newari Calendar. Apart from this particular day, Newa Community have a tradition of making a garland of Yomari cakes on birthdays.
Along with there is a tradition of sending Yomari cakes as gifts to a pregnant women as there is the belief that it gives supreme knowledge and sound mental health to the baby in the womb. (ANI)