Category Archives: Newari Culture

Pasni party for Chhori

After the pasni puja was over, the next big day was the party day.

Chhori is so blessed to have so many loved one come to visit her after her birth. So I wanted to invite everyone for the celebration and to share the day with us.

As with other celebrations, I had many ideas that I wanted to execute for her special day.

So I started planning for the big day months in advance. I wanted a big enough venue that served good food and had great ambiance. After a very tiring search, we finally found it.

The next part was to find a good baker to bake a special cake for Chhori and a photographer who could capture the special moments. Once everyone was booked, I started on the entertainment. I wanted to put on a few performances so I asked few of my friends and they agreed to dance and sing on the day. Altogether, there were going to be 5 dances and a song and I was performing a dance with my sister in law as well.

I always liked dancing but I haven’t performed since high school so I was excited and scared at the same time. We practiced for almost a month every other day and though we were not very good in the beginning as the days passed and we practiced more, we got better and better. I was really happy with where we were headed.

In the meantime, we also designed place cards and arranged the table sitting. It took a while but when everything were done, I was super excited for the day.

On the day of party, I went to the beauty parlour to do my hair and makeup. It took almost 2 hours to get ready and I was happy with the result. I had ordered a special lehenga saree and that was what I was wearing. AS was also looking really handsome in his new suit and bow tie.

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Chhori also had a special dress made for her in a boutique in Nepal by her grand ma which I loved a lot. She looked absolutely gorgeous.

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Once we were all ready, we went to the venue. It was decorated, nicely.

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The cake was also already delivered. We placed all the place cards in the right places and were set for the evening.

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It was early and the photographer was there as well so we spent an hour taking photos before the guests arrived. He took great photos of us as well as with my parents and brother.

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As the guests arrived, the place stared to fill up and food and drinks were served.

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It was so much fun catching up with friends and family after a while. Chhori was an absolute angel and was behaved so well.

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After a while Chhori was bit tired and I let her sleep for a while so she would be fresh and happy for the cake cutting.

As to our schedule, it was time for some entertainment and first up was me and my SIL. I felt nervous like as if it was my first time on the stage but once the music started the fun took over the fear. We both were more relaxed and started our performance.

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Before we knew it, the songs came to an end and I was glad that everyone enjoyed it too. We were showered with applause when we left the stage. I am so glad we captured the performance on video.

After our dance there were more performances that evening by my friends. I am so grateful that I have such a great family and friends who invested their time and energy to make Chhori’s pasni such a memorable evening.

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As I looked around, everyone was enjoying the evening and I could see that the guests were relaxed and mingling well.

While the performance was on, entree was served and after the performance, it was time to cut the cake. Chhori woke up just in time for that.

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The baker did a great job with the cake. It was what I had imagined and looked amazing. I, AS and Chhori cut the cake together. Amazingly, when we gave Chhori a piece of cake, she loved it so much that she started munching on it and we were pleasantly surprised. She loved the sweetness and she looked so cute with cake all over her face.

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After the cake, the dance floor was opened and every one joined us on the dance floor for hours to enjoy the evening. It was so much fun for all of us.

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In the meantime, dinner was served and everyone enjoyed the food and the dance and before I knew it, it was close to midnight and party was coming to an end.

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I am so happy the evening went as we planned and everyone enjoyed it. They told us that they had an amazing time and loved our organized celebration.

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We got some beautiful photos and videos from the day so when Chhori grows up, she too can enjoy watching her Pasni ceremony.

Hope you enjoyed the photos and the post as much as we did the occasion.

Take care everyone,
M from nepaliaustralian
XOXO

Pasni Puja for Chhori

There are many milestones once you have a child and Pasni is one of those big milestones in Nepalese culture. It was one I and AS, were really looking forward to once we had Chhori.

I read somewhere that you just need to have kids and they will grow up so fast and that seemed to be very true in our case already. Time has flown by and Chhori is already over 5 months and ready for her Pasni ceremony.

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The Pasni ceremony is also known as the rice feeding ceremony or Weaning Ceremony. I tis also called Annaprashan in Sanskrit which literally means grain initiation. It is the first time the baby is fed solid food. In Newari it is called Macha Junko.

AS parents sent us the sait, the auspicious day and time, for the pasni after consulting with an astrologer in Nepal. Once we knew the date, both of us were busy preparing for it for the next few weeks until the ceremony. As we are in Australia, everything needed to be arranged by AS and me and it kept us busy. If we were in Nepal, there would have been other family members who could have lent a hand.

I am just glad that we could buy everything we needed for the ceremony easily in Sydney. We also book the same priest who performed Chhori’s Nwaran.

Finally the big day arrived. I woke up early that morning and got ready in my red dupatta sari. The last time I had worn the dupatta sari was during our wedding so I was feeling special already. In the meantime AS got Chhori ready in her new clothes and we waited for the priest. My mum also made sagun. apungo and halwa for the puja.

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At 8am, the priest arrived and stared drawing mandap for the puja. He began the puja with AS sitting at the mandap and after a while asked me to join as well. Then Chhori joined us later, sitting on my lap and the puja continued.

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The first step was to worship Lord Ganesh and the sukunda and all the gods. He chanted mantras and blessed Chhori’s puja outfit and ornaments. The outfit was made of red silk (Taas) embroidered with golden threads and there were gold ornaments like a chain, earrings, bangles (with gold dragon on the ends) and silver anklets (kalli) to keep the bad omens at bay. Some of the ornaments were from my parents and some from AS parents.

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We then changed Chhori into her new outfit and put the kalli and bracelets on her and the ceremony continued.

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Next it was time to give Chhori the tray which had a book (symbolising learning), jewels (wealth), a pen (wisdom), clay (property), food items (a love for food) as well as a mobile phone (after instruction from priest) symbolising a computer genius 🙂 to Chhori.

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It is believed that the first thing the baby touches determines her future path and career. In our case, Chhori first grabbed the book and then the mobile phone so we are hoping she will like computers like her parents.

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After that, it was time for the big moment, Chhori’s first solid food. Normally in Newari culture, we have Thya Bu (a big plate with rice, eggs, yogurt, wine, fruits, roti, meat, fish, vegetables and much more) as the first meal but as we were here, it was near impossible to follow that tradition so we used Kheer (rice pudding) instead.

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My mum made a special kheer for Chhori with lots of milk boiled longer to make it softer. Everyone fed small portions to Chhori using a sliver bowl and a gold coin. She seemed to like the sweetness and kept asking for more; enjoying her first solid food.

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Then the priest blessed the baby and the puja was over but there was still more to come.

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The next step was to take the baby to a nearby temple, which for us was round a thirty minutes’ drive. We all hopped into the car and went to the temple in time for the aarti ceremony.

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After the aarti, the priest blessed the baby and then, my brother who is the mama (maternal uncle in Nepali) took the baby and went around the temple following tradition.pasni (18)

Chhori was so happy to be out seeing all the lights in the temple.

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Once we returned home, it was time for Sagun. My mum had prepared all the necessary items and I am so grateful that she was here with us. I can’t imagine what we would have done without her.

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First my parents put tika on the foreheads of AS, me and Chhori. Then they gave us clothes, fruits, rotis and other gifts.

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It was followed by Sagun to us and everyone present. This concluded the morning ceremony for the pasni.

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For rest of the day, we had our close friends and family coming over to bless Chhori and to celebrate the day. By the time everyone left that day, it was almost midnight.

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It was great day for us to see our daughter growing up and starting to eat sold food. My parents were really pleased to witness their granddaughter’s big day.

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In the next post I will write about the party we had for Chhori’s pasni celebration.

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Till then take care everyone.

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Nwaran for Chhori

I know I am posting this late because Chhori is already a month now.

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Nwaran was performed when she was 11 days old.

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Nwaran ceremony is also known as Machabu Byakegu in Newari. This ceremony is performed to give a birth name to a child according to his/her lunar horoscope; this is usually not the name by which he/she will be known. This ceremony is normally small and celebrated amongst close family.

Typically, a priest is invited to perform the ceremony at home, and divines the child’s lunar horoscope from his birth details, as the mother is still recovering at home with the child. Until the mother and child are ‘purified’ (from past birth etc. in the religious sense), they should not visit the temple.

For the occasion, I wore a red sari which was specially brought from Nepal by my mum for the occasion. It was a cotton sari which is what new mums are supposed to wear for the occasion.

As soon as Chhori was born, we booked a priest for the ceremony and he gave us a list of things that are required for the day and everything was ready when he arrived at my place at 8.30 am on the day of the ceremony.

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The main ceremony was conducted in the balcony of our apartment.  Before the priest arrived we had cleaned and mopped the place. So, when he arrived, he started making a Mandap on the balcony. Once it was ready he asked AS to come and join him for the Puja.

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He had all his books of mantras and it took more than an hour for the first phase of the Puja to finish. It involved lots of mantra reciting from the books and lots of different Pujas to God, with candles on the Mandap.

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Then he asked me and Chhori to join the Puja. He chanted more mantras from the book. Then he asked me to perform Puja to the sun. Then he put tika on Chhori’s forehead and gave him a piece of paper which had details required to make her Jaata (lunar horoscope chart).

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Then my SIL took Chhori for Surya Darshan, i.e. to let the sunray fall on her as a blessing. Then the priest put Tika on AS, me and rest of the family. He also put Janai (holy string) around our wrists.

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After the ceremony, the priest left and the family function started. My parents, with the help of my brother and SIL, had prepared lots of trays of gifts for us and Chhori. It included sari and other gifts for me, clothes for AS and lots of clothes, toys, and manchester for Chhori as well as trays of sweets and fruits.

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The special thing required was special sliver bowl and spoon which my mum has got from Nepal.

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My parents put tika for AS, me and Chhori and gave us blessing and gifts. It was really nice and special to have all my family here for the occasion.

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Till  next post take care everyone,

from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Chhaithi for Chhori

First of all thank you everyone for lovely message and sorry for not posting as frequently as before but as you can imagine I am too busy feeding, changing nappies and looking after Chhori that there is no time for anything else. If there is any spare time, I would love to sleep but sleeping for long periods of time seems like a distant dream right now.

As you all know there are lots of rituals in Hindu culture when one has a baby. Now with Chhori, we want to follow all the rituals as well even though we are not in Nepal. The first ritual we performed is called Chhaithi.

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Chhaithi ceremony is performed when the baby is six days old and takes place late in the evening.

For Chhaithi, the fufu (baby’s dad’s sister, or the baby’s paternal aunt) will need to bring some koseli (gifts for the baby) which includes fruits and sweet along with a new pair of clothes for the baby. She will also bring a notebook and a pen.

In our case, as AS doesn’t have any sister here, the ceremony was performed by my SIL.

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So to start the Chhaithi, my SIL sat with Chhori surrounded by 12 tea light candles (traditionally we use oil lamps) and one more candle was lighted for god.

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According to tradition, there is a belief that on the 6th day after the birth of the child,  Vidhaata (Goddess of destiny) would quietly enter the house around midnight to pen the destiny of the newborn. Traditionally the mother of the newborn lights a lamp and this lamp along with a pen and paper given by fufu are placed on a wooden plank for Vidhaata to write the future of the newborn.

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After my SIL finished performing the ritual, everyone else in the family performed the rituals by giving Chhori money and gifts. Then I gave my SIL gifts and she gave the baby back to me.

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After the ceremony when the Chhori went back to sleep, we placed the notebook and pen next to the bassinet along with one of the candles.

I prayed to the Goddess that she be given a bright future with a healthy life.

This concludes the first of many rituals my Chhori will have in her life.

Till  next post take care everyone,

from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Dahi Chiura Ceremony

As I mentioned in my previous post, I had my baby shower but I was waiting for my parents to arrive from Nepal to do a traditional baby shower, also known as Dahi chiura ceremony in Nepali or Dhau-baji in Newari.

In this ceremony, the mother-to-be’s family comes to feed Dhau-baji (yogurt and flattened/beaten rice) and brings Sagun and lots of food along with gifts for the mother-to-be as well as the unborn baby.

My parents have arrived in Sydney now so I am extremely happy as I will have a helping hand to look after the little one for the first few months. I could not imagine how I would have managed if they were not here.

Last weekend, my parents along with the help of my brother and SIL organised the Dahi Chiura ceremony. It was a traditional ceremony with the ladies all wearing saris.

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My mum made Yomari and sagun (bara, boiled eggs, chicken and fish) for the occasion and bought some sweets, fruits and cakes as well. They also bought clothes for me along with jewelleries as well as things for little one.

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It was a family affair with just me, AS, my parents, brother, SIL and my little nephew.

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For the ceremony, my mum followed the followings steps, if anyone wants to know. It might be different for different cultures but I believe the basic will remain the same.

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  • The ritual started with my mother worshipping Lord Ganesh in the Sukanda. She put tika made of vermillion, rice and yogurt and flowers on Lord Ganesh..
  • Then she put tika for me and AS.
  • Then she gave us the gifts of fruits, sweets, clothes, and jewelleries.
  • This was followed by Sagun and then the main event of dahi chiura, where everyone feeds me dahi chiura.
  • Everyone was given Sagun and sweet as well after this.
  • Thus the main event of dahi chiura is was conclude.
  • Cake is normally not a traditional inclusion for dahi chiura but we had one so I and AS cut the cake together

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For many reasons, the dahi chiura ceremony is one of my favourite celebrations for our coming daughter.

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In addition to normal family dahi chiura, the pregnant mother is often invited by her relatives to eat meals with them. I had invited many of my family and friends who were pregnant to my place and done the same ceremony so it is my turn to be invited to my close friends and family’s place for the dahi chiura ceremony as well.

It was really nice of all of them to get involved making me and the baby feel special. Here are some of the pics from various occasions of dahi chiura. I was spoiled with lots of blessings, yummy foods and lots of useful gifts .

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I am so glad that we are keeping Nepali traditional alive living so far from home and I want to show all these photos to my daughter one day and explain the traditions and culture.

Hope you enjoyed the traditional way of Nepali/Newari baby shower.

Take care,

from nepaliaustralian

XOXO