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Yomari Punhi is one of the numerous Nepali festivals celebrated by the Newar community with great joy and passion – it reflects the importance of food in their culture. Yomari Punhi is celebrated the first Full Moon Day of Mangsir month in the Nepalese calendar, but the preparation for Yomari Punhi in Panauti begins from Tihar. The rice that is separated during Tihar from the harvest is made into flour the day before Yomari Punhi.
Yomari, meaning “favourite bread” in Newari language, is a traditional dish made of rice flour from the new rice harvest: The dough is shaped like a fig and filled with chaku (molasses) and sesame seeds or khuwa (condensed milk), then steamed and served. This yummy treat is one of the most delicious traditional Newari dishes. Symbolically, Yomaris are prepared and shaped into the figures of Lord Kumar, Ganesha, Kuber and Annapurna, the goddess of crops and food, and people pray for a good rice harvest. They are collected and kept in Bhakari, a bamboo box often used to put rice, and eventually used to do puja. The occasion marks generally the end of the harvest season, and is also called Dhanya Purnima.
Nestled among green hills in the Kathmandu Valley, Panauti is a small Newari town with rich culture, ancient temples, and traditional Newari houses. Located just 33 kilometers away from Kathmandu, Panauti is an easily accessible getaway. It offers an experience that goes beyond its proximity to the bustling capital. The warm and welcoming hospitality of the local community creates a homely ambiance, making your stay at the homestay an authentic and enriching cultural experience. Exploring the old town of Panauti and the nearby villages through a bike ride and learning to make local food with your hosts will further enhance your brief stay.
This is an excellent opportunity to have a glimpse of traditional life in an authentic town of Panauti. Moreover, you get to taste this delicious popular food amongst family members. Yomaris are an integral part of Newar culture; by participating in Yomari Punhi in Panauti, you embrace this tradition and create unforgettable memories.
In the charming town of Panauti, you arrive just in time to cook Yomari together with your hosts and have a delightful Nepali lunch prepared by the host at their home. Yomari is known to be eaten in winter because it keeps the body temperature high. After a brief rest, you will be going for an excursion around the town where you can know more about its history, walking around the temples and farm fields. In the evening, your host will help you dress in local attire and you can end your day with a warm dinner.
After having breakfast in the morning, your cycle ride begins from Panauti bike station continuing towards the ancient town of Panauti. It is also considered as one of the oldest towns of Nepal. You will get to observe the old market of Panauti, Indreshwor temple and Triveni ghat. You will continue uphill till Om danda and onto Khopasi through the orange farm along the village of Sunthan. After returning, replenish yourself with a hearty lunch. You will be departing shortly thereafter from the homestay.