Tag Archives: Sagun

Happy Aama ko Mukh herne (Nepali Mother’s day)

It was Nepali Mother’s day on Friday 6th May 2016 and Australian Mother’s day yesterday. This year’s mother’s day is extra special for us as we have my mum, and my MIL (she arrived in Sydney yesterday) here.

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I was lucky enough to have my mum here last Mother’s day as well but it is AS’s first Mother’s day after a long time so I made sure they had a good one.

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On Friday we celebrated in the traditional style with sagun, fruits, sweets and cakes. It was nice to observe AS’s celebration as both of them were very happy.

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I also had my Mother’s day for my mum with sagun, fruits, sweets and cake.

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It is nice to have her here and wish we will be together for Mother’s day every year.

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I am a mum now too, so it was nice to be on the other end of the ceremony. Last year Chhori was too small but this year, she is big enough to enjoy the fun. She got me a cute card (AS did :)) and also sagun, fruits, sweets and a cake too.

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My MIL helped her with the tick and sagun for me. She was clam and followed the instructions well.

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It feels so good to be the mother of such a cute munchkin and I am so proud of her.

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And to all the proud moms out there, Happy Mother’s day. Hope you had a good one.

Take care,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

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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 

My Awesome Baby Shower :)

I can’t believe time is running so fast. I had my baby shower and I am going to have the baby soon. The last few months seem to have flown by and my days as a mum are getting nearer and nearer.

In Nepali culture, we normally don’t have a baby shower but we have a special ceremony called Dhau-baji in Newari or Dahi-Chiura in Nepali.

Dhau-baji ceremony is done after 36 weeks and I am waiting for my parents to arrive in Sydney for that ceremony. 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.

In the meantime while I was waited for my parents to arrive, I decided to have a western style baby shower as I have lots of friends here and some of them wanted to help me organise one.

Once we found out the sex of the baby, I was excited for the baby shower because I had some ideas about what I wanted. I was over-joyed since I was secretly hoping for a daughter. I would have been be perfectly fine with a healthy baby boy as well but a baby girl is definitely my dream come true.

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I started planning for the baby shower with the help of my friends a few weeks in advance and I was over joyed with the result. It was everything I hoped for and more.

Here is how the invitation looked like.

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Of course, the theme was pink but to I mixed it up a bit by using yellow.

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My nice hubby helped me decorate our place a day in advance and when we were done, I was really pleased with the end result. I don’t know what I would do without him. He is a really great help when I want things done.

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My friend baked a delicious and pretty red velvet cupcake for the occasion. I can’t be thankful enough that she took so much time to do the onesies topping with fine details like ribbons, bows and hearts.

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The baby shower cake was baked by one of my friends’s friend and it was perfect. I loved the details of the ruffle on the pram and the tiny cloth lining along the cake. I couldn’t have asked for more.

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I used our kitchen bench top as the main table with a pink table cloth for the food and dessert table. I had nice apothecary glass jars filled with different variety of pink and yellow lollies. It went perfectly with the table and added that wow-factor.

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I also had our buffet table decorated with “It’s a girl” buntings, angel lights and wishing trees.

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I had a card made so everyone could write something nice for the baby and hang on the wishing tree. The table also had a fish bowl with floating yellow ducks and a sleeping pink baby.baby shower (27)

I had also customised water bottles and chocolates as a part of the decoration which added to the theme and looked so elegant.

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It was meant to be the photo booth where people could pick up the props I had arrange and take some silly photos.

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As the guests stared to arrive, I was so happy that they followed the theme and were dressed in different shades of pink. The food was ready and I was ready to start the amazing afternoon.

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My friend C, took care of all the games and prizes for the afternoon. The games had us in stitches, and made the day a truly Fun-day.

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One of the games was guessing how big my belly was by using a string. Let’s just say a couple of them think I am twice as much bigger then I actually am. Oops! However, my cousin in law who won that game was only centimetres away from being perfectly right.

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Another game we played was “Dad knows best” and it was a fun one. I had my hubby answer all the questions beforehand the asked the girls to guess what his answer to each question might be. The gals did really well.

Then we played a game called “My Water Broke”. I got pack of tiny jelly babies and froze them into an ice cubes for each guest. Each girl got a cup with a jelly baby ice cube in it to keep an eye on during the party. The first person whose ice melted so that her baby floats freely in the glass shouts “My water broke!” and wins the game. It was such a fun game.

Another game we did was funny but risqué called “Sex or Labour.” I print out a paper with photos of women’s faces in orgasmic poses or while giving birth. Each guest got a copy and wrote if each women was in labour or in bed. The one who guessed the most wins. It was hilarious to see the reactions of everyone when they got things wrong.

We also had other games where they tasted the baby food and guessed the flavour. Overall the games filled up our time and everyone was in the mood to have fun.

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After the game, each guest wrote a sweet love note to my baby and advice for me and it will be a great keepsake for me which I will always treasure.

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Then it was time to cut the cake. I got AS involved in that as I feel it is his big day as much as mine. The cake looked so nice I really didn’t want to ruin it.

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With AS by my side, we cut the cake. My nephew was so excited with the cake that he kept clapping. It was a chocolate mud cake with pink icing and it was moist and so yummy, everyone just loved it.

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After some candid shots, some crazy ones with the props, it was the exciting gift opening time. I was literally overwhelmed by what everyone brought me. Of course, there were the pink dress, onesies, cute headbands, blankets and toys as well as boxes of nappies, baby mats, baby monitor, baby bottle and other very very useful items. I am sure our baby is so lucky to have so many nice aunties in her life.

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I was so glad when everyone congratulated me for pulling off one of the most beautiful baby showers they had ever seen and I will forever cherish this shower. Definitely a big credit to my hubby, and my friend C for all the help they provided. We all had an absolute blast showering this baby girl with lots of love (and cute outfits)! She certainly has a wardrobe that puts mine to total shame now.

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I know I will see most of the ladies only after I have the little girl in my arms instead of in my belly but I am extremely grateful to all of them who made my shower such a dream come true. I am so incredibly blessed to be surrounded by so much love.

Hope you enjoyed photographic tour of the sweet shower!

Take care,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Our Story – “Wanjala” ceremony- Part 48

This is a continuation of my previous posts. Please read the previous posts here.

This is a ceremony where the newly wed bride is taken to the temple of the Kuladevata (family deity) where the bride is introduced to the god as a new member of the family and in front of the god, the groom puts Sindoor on the bride’s forehead and hair partition.

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The very next morning after I came to AS’s house, we went for Wanjala. It was me, my MIL, AS’s aunts and AS. We drove to the temple and waited in the queue for the priest to be free.

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Once he was available, we handed him all the things for the Puja along with Sindoor from the Swayamvar ceremony. He performed some rituals and prayers and then asked AS to put Sindoor on my forehead. My MIL held a red and gold cloth from behind and, AS put the Sindoor on my forehead. Then I had to touch AS’s feet to get his blessing.

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Then we went around the temple to get the blessing from the gods. Once all the pujas were done, we sat down and ate the sagun we had brought from home. It is considered a good sign to eat around the temple.

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More on wedding on next post, till then, take care.

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

P.S: Do not forget to vote your favorite blog . NEPALIAUSTRALIAN’s Blog Award 2014

Our Story – “Jwain Bhitraune” ceremony- Part 47

This is a continuation of my previous posts. Please read the previous posts here.

Jwain” means son in law in Nepali. After the wedding when the newly married couple visits the bride’s home for the first time, the groom has to give Supari to all the close members of the bride’s family and is introduced to the members of the bride’s family. The event also comprises of the bride’s family presenting the groom with gifts such as clothes, shoes and even jewellery.

When we (me and AS) came to my parent’s home for the first time, all my relatives were waiting for us. It was exciting as it was the first time a son in law visits the house after the wedding. It is the ceremony where the, groom is introduced to the bride’s family members. The funny thing was he already knew all of them.

The preparation was all done before hand so we went straight to the room where Supari ceremony going to start. AS sat down alongside his brother and my aunt (the eldest member of the family) started the ritual.

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Like most ceremony, she put tika to Lord Ganesh and then to AS. Then AS gave supari to my parents and it return they gave him a suitcase which had a suit, a shirt, shoe, socks and perfume. Then Supari was given to rest of the family and my brother gave him a watch and other relatives gave him money.

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As it was only close relatives it didn’t take long. After that we had dinner. It was fun to be back at my parents’ home.

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The days following the wedding, AS and I had to visit all my close relatives. They performed simple puja and give him Sagun. It is called “Jwain Bhitraune” in their home. Normally this process takes many days as you go to various relatives one day at a time but we finished this process all in one day. We visited all my relatives and we had breakfast, snacks, lunch, dinner and more snacks in different relatives’ homes.

In Nepal, everyone loves to feed you and they don’t like an empty plate so by the end of that day we had so much Sagun and food that both of us were completely stuffed. My relatives also gave us some cloths as gifts.

Till then, take care.

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

P.S: Do not forget to vote your favorite blog . NEPALIAUSTRALIAN’s Blog Award 2014

Our Story – “Mukh Herne” ceremony- Part 46

This is a continuation of my previous posts. Please read the previous posts here.

Mukh Herne is the day when the bride’s family comes and meets the bride at the Groom’s place, with lots of gifts like jewellery, saris, cosmetic, shoes, bags, fruits, Nepali Rotis , Masala and much more.

Mukh Herne literally means “looking at the face” and traditionally it is done after the bride spends a few days with the groom’s family. All the bride’s relatives then visit the groom’s home so they can “look at the bride’s face” and see if she is happy and being treated well.

During this ceremony every member of the bride’s family gives her money or jewellery as Mukh Herne gift. The groom is not allowed to be present while this ceremony goes on.

Once I came to AS’s house I was looking forward to this day. I hadn’t seen my parents for four days so I was very excited when the day finally arrived.

Wedding Ceremony

I woke up early, went to the beauty parlour and got ready to go to the venue. I was wearing a pink Sari with a green border (a gift from my mother in law) along with lots of accessories and bridal makeup.

Wedding CeremonyOnce we were at the venue I called my dad to check where they were. He said they were on the way. When they arrived at the venue, it started raining heavily. This is what is called a Monsoon Wedding I guess. Every time any big event was about to begin, it started raining during our wedding.

Wedding Ceremony

It was so nice to see my family again, my dad was there with my brother, my sister-in-law, my uncles, aunts, cousins and close friends. According to the tradition, my mum hadn’t come. I wished she was there too.

They brought everything that was sent from AS’s family during Supari ceremony except perishable items and they had added more items so there were heaps of trays decorated nicely.

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They also had a cake (the two tier with bride and groom topping), a decorated yogurt, Saris, bags, lots of Rotis and fruits. They also had decorated fish, and a coconut.

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Once everything was organised for the ceremony I was asked to sit to start the ceremony.

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Then the ceremony started with Tika being put on my forehead by my uncle, the eldest male in the family. Then he handed me the red Dupatta Sari. I had to go and change into this new Sari for the remainder of the ceremony.

So I took my cousins and friends to help me change into the room next door. It was a big job as it was a Dupatta Sari and it takes an expert to get it right. On top of that my mum had forgotten to cut the blouse piece from the Sari so there were people running around looking for scissors. We didn’t mean to take long but it took us a while to get the scissors, cut the sari and for me to get ready after that. I was really grateful that my friends and cousins were there to help me.

Wedding Ceremony

Finally, wearing my new Sari, I came back to the event hall. There were more rituals to go through. The priest from my family was instructing my dad and uncle on what to do and they were following the rituals.

L-R My brother putting a ring, My dad putting bangles and ring, my sister in law puting bracelet

Then everyone who had come from my family came one by one and met me with gifts like jewellery and cash. It looks like the bride is the ultimate winner in a Nepali wedding.

Wedding Ceremony

This process took a while but it was so fun. I received lots of gold and diamond jewellery, watch, sari and lots of cash. 🙂

Now it was my turn to cut the cake again. The cake was given to everyone and then it was time for dinner. On the way to the dinner hall everyone from my family side received Masala (a Sagun bag with lots of dried fruits and nuts).

After dinner, my family left and I was a bit sad. I knew I had a new home with AS and his family but I still missed my parents and the home where I had grown up.

More on wedding next post.

Till then, take care.

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

P.S: Do not forget to vote your favorite blog . NEPALIAUSTRALIAN’s Blog Award 2014

Goru Puja, Govardhan Puja, Mha Puja and Nepal Sambat

Today is Goru Puja, Govardhan Puja, Mha Puja and Nepal Sambat.

Goru Puja

Nepal is mostly an agricultural country so oxen are considered important animals as they help in ploughing the fields. That is why on this day they are worshiped with tika, garland and offered nice food.

Govardhan Puja

Govardhan Puja is performed by making a hill called govardhan parbat using Cow dung. Cow dung has big importance in Hindu culture. In the olden days it was used for everything from light at night (Methane) to polish mud floors of traditional houses. Even now no Puja is complete without cow dung in Nepali Hindu culture.

It is believed that once there was a drought in a village in Vridavan. The villagers were very worried and they wanted to perform a big Puja in honour of Lord Indra, the God of rain. But Lord Krishna convinced them that, they should not pray to Lord Indra since it was the Mount Govardhan that brought the rain and not Lord Indra. This made Lord Indra very angry and in his wrath he sent forth a big thunderstorm to flood the village. Lord Krishan lifted the Mount Govardhan as an umbrella above the village to protect the villagers and their cattle from the rain and flood.

Mha Puja

In this day, after sunset Newar community perform Mha Puja.

“Mha” means body in the Newari language so on this day the Newa people worship their body and their inner self in the evening. They believe that the soul never dies and our body is only a vehicle and so we need to understand and respect our body as it is the chosen vehicle for this incarnation. This Puja is believed to bring prosperity and physical well-being.

Members of the family, first males followed by females, sit cross-legged in a row. The elder group of females plays the role of facilitators for each member. A mandap, decorated with different colours and various grains, fruits and flowers, is drawn for each member of the family.

In between the grains and fruits lies a mini mandap of oil, which represents the human soul. The human soul is placed between various grains and fruits so that a person will prosper throughout the year since each object represents a particular God and it is believed that each deity will bless the person. An oil lamp with velvet cloth wick equal in length to one’s own face is lit on top of the mandap facing all four cardinal directions so that a person will be renowned in all the places of this earth.

Apart from worshipping oneself, all the household entities like brooms, water pots, utensils and machines are also worshipped in the same way.

I performed Mha Puja with my brother and his family this year. This year my cousins are in Nepal so there were only 4 of us unlike 9 last year. For the Puja, first the floor was purified by sprinkling water on it then we made mandaps in front of a row of seats on the floor where we were sitting. Our mandap was designed by AS and I had printed them out on A4 paper but in Nepal they are made by hand on the floor using oil, rice flour, vermilion, puffed rice and sometimes beans.

The number of the mandaps needed is three plus the number of people doing the puja. We need three smaller mandaps at the top of the row for the Family Deity (Kuladevata), Yamaraj and Janmaraj, one mandap for each of the member performing Mha Puja. Then at the end of the row, we had a crow drawn symbolising Yama the God of death.

Normally the puja is done by the eldest member of the family but this year I did the process as my elder cousin is not in Sydney.

Process of doing Mha Puja (according to my knowledge):

  • First I gave Nasala, a few drops of water, in the palm of the right hand of everyone to sprinkle some into the mouth and rest over the body for purification.
  • I worshipped the Family Deity and Yama’s mandap with water, rice, flowers, and vermilion powder.
  • I gave water, rice, flowers, and vermilion powder to each individual to worship their own mandaps. The mandap is used as a medium to present the various offerings to the self.
  • Then I put tika on everyone’s forehead and gave them flower to put on their head.

  • Normally in Nepal, they use Itaa (hand woven long strands made using white cloth soaked in mustard oil) but here we used tea light candle instead. I gave each person the candle and everyone took the candle from my hand, lighted them and put them on their mandap. This light is believed to brighten the inner self and keep evil at bay.
  • I used rice and flower to shower each individual and worshipped the god within.
  • Then I gave every a plate with roti, sweets, fruits and masala.

  • Then,I gave Sagun to everyone. For Sagun, you put a plate of egg, bara (lentil cake), meat (chicken), a piece of garlicand fish in the right hand and yougurt in your left hand.

  • Once everyone finished eating the sagun, we used kucho (broom) to sweep the mandaps from top of the row to the bottom touching each mandap to conclude Mha puja.

Nepal Sambat

This day is also New Year’s day for Newar community and is called Nepal Sambat. Nepal Sambat is the national lunar calendar of Nepal. The era started on 20 October 879 AD and was in widespread use for all daily purposes until the beginning of the 20th century. It appeared on coins, stone and copper plate inscriptions, royal decrees, chronicles, Hindu and Buddhist manuscripts, legal documents and correspondence.

The customs of celebrating Nepal Sambat started from October 880 AD. According to a popular legend, there used to be a learned person in Bhaktapur who ordered porters to get sand from Lakhu Tirtha, a river in Kathmandu because he knew that it would turn into a heap of gold the next day. A person named Shankhadhar Sakhwaa came to know about it, and he enticed the porters to leave the sand in his place.

The next day, the sand turned into gold and with that gold he paid off the debt of all the people in the Kathmandu Valley. So from that day, people started celebrating it as their New Year to commemorate their happiness.

Even today, people are very enthusiastic to welcome the New Year. Every year, the day starts with a rally and the greeting of “Nhu Daya Bhintuna!” which means “Happy New Year”. Different programmes and functions are also organised in the Kathmandu Valley every year on this day.

The months of the year in Nepal Sambat are

Nepal Sambat month Corresponding Gregorian month
Kachha lā November
Thin lā December
Pohe lā January
Sil lā February
Chil lā March
Chau lā April
Bachha lā May
Tachha lā June
Dil lā July
Goon lā August
Yen lā September
Kau lā October

 It is Nepal Sambat 1133 this year. Nhu Daya Bhintuna everyone!!!

Also from this day, boys in groups go door to door singing special songs called Deusi similar to the Bhailo sung during Laxmi Puja. You can write just about any Deusi song as long as each line ends with the word `Deusi’ or `Deosuray’. A group of males get together, carry what-ever musical instruments they have or can play, and sing Deusi door to door blessing the home and family in return for money and/or refreshments. Teenagers perform various Deusi songs to collect money for their picnic.

It is considered auspicious to have these groups come to your front door. The house owner will offer them some rotis, fruits and money and they sing Deusi songs blessing the household with good fortune.

A Sample of Deusi Song. Includes a similar meaning in English

Bhana Mera Bhaiho Deusuray. (Say it my brothers, Say it. Deusuray)

Sormelai Kana Deusuray. (Say it louder and say it in tune. Deusuray)

Rato Batoo Deusuray. (Red mud trail. Deusuray)

Chiploa Batoo Desuray. (Slippery trail. Deusuray)

Laddai Paddai Deusuray. (Slipping and Sliding. Deusuray)

Akeya Hami Deusuray. (Finally we made it to your home! Deusuray)

…. …. Deusuray

…. …. Deusuray

…. …. Deusuray

Yo Garma Laxmi Deusuray. (In this home Lord Laxmi. Deusuray)

Sadthai Aaun Deusuray. (May always come. Deusuray)

Hamilai Denus Deusuray. (Give us what you have money or meal)

Bidtha Garnus Deusuray. (Please give us now, say good bye to us, so we can go sing for the next house!)

 Happy Tihar!!!