Dhanya Purnima, Udhauli‚ Yomari Punhi being observed

KATHMANDU: Various communities across the nation are celebrating different festivals today, coinciding with the full moon day of the month of Mangsir as per the lunar calendar.

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.

Dhanya Purnima

Dhanya Purnima is a Hindu festival celebrated to mark the conclusion of the rice harvest season across the country. Hindus celebrate the festival by stocking new grain and making offerings to god and goddesses to ensure plentiful supply of grains throughout the year.

Yomari Punhi

In this festival, Kirant people worship land or mother nature which is called Bhumi Puja. They worship mother nature thanking for giving good crops. Udhauli Parva is celebrated with lots of excitement and fanfare. Kirant women wear dress especially made of patterned cloth called Chhit ko Guneu. There is a special kind of dance known as Sakela, playing various musical instruments like dhol, jhyamta, et cetera during this festival.

Udhauli myth

According to the Kirant mythology, Paruhang who used to live in heaven, saw a beautiful girl Sumnima on Earth. He fell in love with Sumnima and married her. They had four children. But later Paruhang left Sumnima in a hut on the bank of Dudhkoshi River and did not return for a long time. One day, while searching for food, Sumnima saw a creeper on a stone. She tasted the creeper and found out that it was full of power and happiness. She took the creeper with her and made a buti, an intoxicating religious garland out of it. She kept it safely. The buti inspired everybody, who saw it, to tell the truth of their life. One day, Paruhang returned suddenly. Sumnima gave the buti to Paruhang which made him tell what he had done all those days.

So, Sumnima came to know how Paruhang had spent the time looking at the heaven and Earth from the top of Chomolongma (Mount Everest). He told her that he had meditated, and visited the whole universe. Paruhang promised not to leave her, which made Sumnima dance with joy. It is believed the dance is the Sakela Dance. So there is also a tradition of young boys and girls participating in Sakela Dance to meet each other and find love.