KATHMANDU, Nepal – 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. This festival is observed in full moon day of December or Mangsir every year. This year it falls on December 6 (Mangsir 20). On this day, Newar community celebrate Yomari Punhi or Jyapu Diwas (Farmer’s Day) while Kirat community throughout the country celebrate Udhauli Parva.
Yomari is the Newari food made of rice flour, 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. Yamori is compared with the Earth. Two sides of Yomari are assumed as North and South pole. The stuffing of molasses and sesame seeds is regarded as Goddess Mahamaya. Sometimes, meat is also stuffed in Yomari, which is assumed as lord Ganesh. The Yomari with black lentil is regarded as God Kumar. This festival is celebrated by making, eating and distributing Yomaris. The festival is celebrated for four days. People worship god Kuber, Ganesh and goddess Subhadra in these four days. Yomari is eaten as prasad and it is believed that those gods enter the human body in the form of Yomari.
In this festival, children gather in groups and go to their neighbourhood asking for Yomari. People distribute Yomaris and rice to those children. On this day, sacred masked dances are also performed in the villages of Hari Shidhi at Thecho at the southern end of Kathmandu Valley. A big celebration is observed at night in Dhaneshwar Mahadev temple in Banepa.