Yomari Punhi is a Newari festival held during Thinlã’s full moon day (second month of Nepal’s lunar age)’
Yomari Punhi marks the end of the rice harvest and a Newaridelicacy called Yomari is celebrated.
Yomari translates into “Tasty Bread,” literally. It is a freshly harvested rice flour dough filled with sesame seeds and brown cane sugar, which is later steamed. People believe the cold is being taken away by Yomari. It’s also said the longer the tail of the Yomari is, the shorter the winter is.
The Newa Community also prepares Yomari as a sign of commitment to their diets (e.g., Laxmi, Kuber, Ganesh, etc.). In addition, parents honor their children with good health and longevity by giving Yomari.
(Group kids sing this song as they ask YOMARI to go to the neighborhood)
योमरी च्वामु उकी दुने हाकु ।
Yomari chwamu uki duney haaku
[Yomari is sharp. Inside it, sesame seeds]
ब्युसा ल्यासे मब्युस बुढी कुटी ।
Byusa Lyasey Mabyusa Budi Kuti
[One who gives Yomari is young and pretty, else is old and ugly]
Sesame seeds are fried and grinded to make a Yomari and mixed with molten molasses. A dough is prepared by combining rice flour with boiled water that is stiff until the dough becomes dense and sticky. During the whole process, the dough is kept warm. Using index finger to take small quantities of dough, a hollow is formed.The diameter of the dough is kept about six inches, and the remaining dough covering the hollow is preserved with a moderate thickness. Inside the hollow one and a half spoon of molasses paste is poured and Yomari’s opening is gently sealed. The raw Yomari will be steamed for 5 to 15 minutes afterwards and the Yomari will be ready to serve. Filling can also be achieved with black gram paste, Khuwa– dairy product,