I swear it feels like yesterday that I told you I had a new man in my life (my li’l nephew) and gosh it has been two years now. Even though he was born in 18 July, we celebrated his birthday on 26th of July which was determined by his birth chart and our own Nepali calendar.
Since his birth, he has given joy to everyone including his parents, us, my parents and my sister in law’s parents. When he was visiting last month to Nepal, he was the apple of the eye and was spoiled rotten by everyone.
Strangely, for reasons unknown and out of traditions handed down from generation to generation, the first birthday of a child is not celebrated by Newars. When a child is born, he will have chhaiti, nawaran then pasni. After pasni, the big celebration is second birthday, which is known as Nirbuni in Newari.
According to tradition, we make Yomari every even birthday (2, 4, 6, 8, 12) until a child turns 12. Yomari is a delicacy of the Newars. It consists of an external covering of rice-flour and an inner content of sweet substances such as chaku (Molasses).
During Nirbuni, a big puja is performed and the child is given a garland made out of two yomaris. The child is also given tika and sagun and prayed to ward off evil spirits from the child’s body. If we were in Nepal, relatives would come along with gifts and sweets for the kid. Therefore, this birthday was a big deal for us.
We started Saturday making yomari and sagun. With the help of our cousin it was done and then the puja started. My nephew was good during the puja as he sat on his dad’s lap while I perform the puja.
I am not expert on performing the puja but this is what I did.
- First I gave Nasala, a few drops of water, in the palm of the right hand of my nephew to sprinkle some into his mouth and the rest over his body for purification.
- Then I put tika on Lord Ganesh with water, rice, flowers, and vermilion powder as well as a plate of sagun in front of him.
- Then I gave water, rice, flowers, and vermilion powder to my nephew to worship the Lord Ganesh and also to all the God and Goddess by throwing the rice towards the ceiling.
- Then I placed tika on his forehead and put a flower on his head.
- Then I placed the Yomari mala followed by flower mala.
- After that I put bits of rice, radish, coins, cucumber in a small container and poured them on his head. This is believed to take all the evil spirits away from him. I did this three times.
- Then,I gave Sagun to him. For Sagun, you put a plate of egg, bara (lentil cake), meat (chicken), a piece of giner and fish in the right hand and yogurt in the left hand.
- Once the process is finished with my nephew, I gave tika to the rest of the family, followed by sagun.
My parents and my SIL’s parents were on skype watching the ceremony. They were happy to watch all the ceremony even though they are so far away.
I also took tray of fruits, biscuits and a three piece suit for him as a birthday gift.
He looked really adorable in the suit.
Then there was a party in the evening. I did the decoration and was happy with the result. It was a fun party with lots of kids.
The house was chaotic in a good way for the rest of the evening where kids ran, laughed , danced and played.
We had a nice cake for him and the food was catered so everyone enjoyed the day. It was such a fun day and the little man was very happy with all the attention and gifts.
On Sunday, I baked cupcakes for him to take to his childcare to celebrate his birthday. The childcare request simple individual cupcakes so I baked them myself.
Overall, it was a great nirbuni celebration for my nephew.
Wishing little man all the happiness of this world.
Take care ,
M from nepaliaustralian