Sithi Nakha is a festival dedicated to the purification of water bodies. The god Kumar is worshipped during this festival. Prepare exclusive dishes such as Wo: and Chatamari.
A home of the Newar community in Kathmandu Valley , Nepal prepares traditional pancakes in honor of the Sithi Nakha festival. To mark the start of the monsoon season, the Newar community celebrates the Sithi Nakha festival by cleaning water bodies such as ponds, wells, and stone spouts. Traditional pancakes such as Wo: Bara and Chatamari are often prepared as a tribute to their ancestor’s god.
Water bodies were traditionally cleaned prior to the start of the rainy season, as farming communities were busy planting rice once the monsoon started. Historians believe the festival began between 400 and 750 AD during the Licchavi period. Water purification also aided in the prevention of water-borne diseases including typhoid, dysentery and cholera.
“Stone inscriptions dating back to the reign of Yakshay Malla in Bhaktapur show that it was made mandatory for local communities to clean water bodies (stone spouts and wells), pathways, temples, and sidewalks on Sithi Nakha,” writes historian Kasi Nath Tamot. Sithi Nakha also marks the ending of festivities until end of monsoon season. People from the Newar community also offer prayers to their ancestral god on the day.
According to the lunar calendar, Sithi Nakha is observed on the sixth day of the waxing moon in the month of Jestha. The birth of Kumar Kartikeya, son of Lord Shiva and goddess Parvati, is also commemorated on this day. Another name for the day is Kumar Khasthi.
On this day, also known as Dewali puja, some communities within the Newari culture worship their guardian deity.“Both Buddhist and Hindu followers have distinctive ways of commemorating this day, and family lines may be traced based on how they commemorate it,” .Pray for a healthy life and praise our kuldevta. Newar community family sat down to eat Samaybaji (a dish made up of beaten rice, meat, garlic, and other ingredients) with several types of Wo: along with some other dishes. It is also a day when newlywed wives are welcomed into the family.”