They also are provided a traditional Newari facial called kghwao which is made of the rice flour, roasted fenugreek flour, sandalwood, and other herbs to make them more beautiful. This rites again process to the marriage of a girl to the sun. A newborn child, as soon as he or she can be taken out of the house, is taken for a visit to the family jyotish, a priest whose duty is to inspect the child’s stars and warn the family of any troubles the child might be prone to, against which precautions should be taken. This seemingly strange tradition can take place at any time after the girl turns two. While other communities have no age limit to do this ceremony. On the second to the last day of the ritual, there is a special occasion where cotton dolls, or khyak in Newari, sort of a Nepali version of a voodoo doll, are made and are placed with pebbles. The purposes of rituals are varied. Buddhists require a boy to put on saffron-colored clothes and lead the life of an novice monk for a period of four days. the Nepal Sambat and it usually falls on the month of September or October during the Nepali festival of Tihar. Weddings. The ceremony known as ‘Ehee, ihi or Bel Bibah’ in Nepal is performed when the girl is at preadolescence i.e before hitting puberty. It exists alongside many other traditions that punctuate and landmark a Newar person’s life. The first of these ceremonies is observed when a man reaches 77 years, 7 months, and 7 days (an age few reached in the past). Upon reaching the age of 77 years and 7 months, each Newari man and woman is believed to start a new life, that of a living god. The old Newar upper caste, the Shrestha, were also reduced to Matawali status. In the girls’ case, she must have the ihi and bahra ceremony before their marriage and bratabandha for the boys. For a girl child this particular ceremony takes place when she is five months old. Yes, you can call this a myth or a fact but a girlhood girl is married to a fruit named bael in this event. Even Newar Brahmins who had been serving as priests for Newars lost ritual status vis-a-vis the “Hill Brahman”, the Parbate Bahuns, of the Khas people community. Hindus and Buddhists alike perform the "Sorha Sanskaar Karma" or the 16 sacred rites of passage, unavoidable in a Hindu person's life. Life moves on and soon it is time to check out. At the end of the four days, the young monk is allowed the choice of continuing to live the life of a monk as opposed to returning to normal domestic life. Right from a Newar child’s birth, to the inevitable passing on, a large number of traditional ceremonies, some of which have become obsolete, celebrate the joy of life in various ways. Traditionally, parents and go-betweens arrange marriage. The child is literally showered with Newari treats made out of wheat and chaku, a sweet, dark, concentrated extract of sugarcane, called yomari, plus til (sesame seed) and money, all of which is then donated to the needy. The young girl can opt to spend an equal or what has evolved to become an increasingly lesser number of days in a Buddhist nunnery. Life is a journey, with the human body as a mere vessel. The child is readied in red and gold traditional clothing since the ceremony usually takes place at a temple. The Newari equivalent is called barahacchuigu. While newar people are bind within the Hindu and Buddhist religions. This act represents, once again, the warding off of evil spirits from the child’s body and is also a way of getting the blessings of people for the child. Besides that, when someone is traveling far away from home. ‘Nwaran1 is performed within 4 to 11 days of the baby’s birth. It is done due to the belief that the body of that girl should not see the sun. Well, talking back to the ceremony, he must don yellow/orange robes of the mendicant and beg rice from his relatives. All the Newars except the Laakumi and Jogi caste, cremate their dead bodies. For 12 long days the only company the young girl is allowed are female family members and female friends. This ritual is known in Nepali as annaprasan or rice feeding (or jankoo in Newari). The fourth birthday called pyadanbunhi is also celebrated in similar fashion. information on various aspects of the Newar diaspora community resident in the state. When I first got the book Kusunda Tribe and Dictionary in my hands, I couldn’t put it down... Rudraksha, a seed that comes from Elaeocarpus ganitrus, is used extensively in Hindu culture and by... Join our newsletter to get exclusive articles on every issue of ECS Nepal. By some means, Buddhist Newars like Gubhāju-Baré (Bajracharya-Shakya), Urāy, Jyapu, and Chitrakār perform their Pravrajyā and Chudākarma ceremony in a unique way. At such a vihar for nuns, the girls are assigned duties of cleaning, cooking and studying similar to the ones performed by adult nuns, or bhichhunis, who live there. The Newar dance consists of sacred masked dance, religious dance without the use of masks known as Dyah Pyakhan, dance performed as part of a ritual and meditation practice known as Chachaa Pyakhan (Nepal Bhasa: चचा प्याखं) (Charya Nritya in Sanskrit) and folk dance. Last updated: Here are some facts about Newar community and … Hindus and Buddhists alike perform the "Sorha Sanskaar Karma" or the 16 sacred rites of passage, unavoidable in a Hindu person's life. A little Newar girl is put into a darkened, locked room for 12 days in her home. Janku is a celebration performed when a man or woman of Newari community turns 77 years old. Many festivals are tied to Hindu holidays, Buddha's birth and the harvest cycle. They burn the body of dead people in the religious place. During Mha puja people are said to be worshiped as god. Newar marriages are extravagant affairs with the entire community as extended family members turning up to be a part of the celebrations. The person is regarded as God after these rituals are performed. Newar lives and life crisis rituals are living examples of old world traditions in the Kathmandu valley. A common ritual where the bride abandons her family and adopts her husband’s name and family. A puja organized by the community’s co-operative society called a guthi marks the beginning of the barchhuigu ceremony. This shagun ceremony is incomplete without eggs and yogurt. During Indrajatra Hindu Lord of Heaven lord Indradev and living goddess Kumari Devi is being worshipped. Since the 12th day of the ceremony requires the girl to fast until she views the sun god, the last meal of the ceremony is fed to the girl in the wee hours of the final night. All members of the family feed the child in turn. Their rich history dates back to more than 5000 years and are mentioned in Chronology of Nepal Kings. Your email address will not be published. Newar Hindus of all castes are fascinated with death and are fixated with the dramatic consequences that can result from improperly performed funeral rites (Toffin 259). Copyright ©2020 ECS Media Pvt. Part I briefly traces the vratas Indie origins and history, introduces the Nepalese context, then outlines the most popular contemporary Newar observances. Some perform the annaprasan at Ganesh temples situated in the neighborhood or at the popular ones located at the outskirts of Kathmandu. The ceremony is called Bare Chuyegu (becoming a Baré) where categorically Bajracharya boys go through Acharya Abhisheka. The day is also held as the Sambat day and the new year of Newar people. Mha Puja is an annual Newari ritual in Nepal for celebrating one’s nature, purifying and empowering one’s soul. For her services throughout the ceremonies, it is tradition for the guthi to present the aunt with clothes and gold. And while the reason for this is open to debate, one undeniable truth is that most Newar marriages seem truly blessed, owed in part to a largely religious faith of the people involved and the feeling that the institution of marriage is a holy bond, the breaking of which would be a sin. Bahra. The second birthday, called a nidanbunhi is, however, a big deal. This is a very unique culture of newar people where they manage to arrange a marriage of their children to lord Vishnu. The eccentricities do not end here though, because next is the barah ceremony mentioned earlier, which is actually the girl’s second marriage, this time with none other than the sun! As a part of the Indrajatra celebration, religious rituals were performed at Newa Bhawan at Sichey in Gangtok. After this, every birthday is celebrated normally with puja ceremonies and other usual celebrations. Due to the caste culture, Rajopādhyāyas and Chatharīyas additionally perform the Upanayana initiation. They prefer to give Sagun. The name of the movie is barasi. The belief is that since men can be unfaithful, the girl’s first marriage should be one in which unfaithfulness cannot occur. Ihi ceremony became the most memorable moment of a Newari girl if she manages to remember it. She is not allowed to have salted food and she cannot look at herself in the mirror or comb her hair. They call this loin-cloth and head-shaving ceremony Kaeta Puja. On the 13th day, the girl is dressed up as a bride with makeup, jewelry, and a traditional wedding dress. This is a horror movie, if you wanna see then you can. In fact, some even let the females take the lead in which case the women at the front fling grains of rice and coins along the way. Subsequently, people conduct offerings and rituals within four, seven, eight, 13, and 45 days following after the death. This two days long ceremony holds a marriage ritual henceforth, you can see in a typical Newari marriage there is no need to go to the bride’s house for the groom. And although in older days, perhaps because there was no television, the idea was that the young girl would not see any member of the opposite sex for the entire duration of the ritual. For the first time, his head would be fully shaved except a tuft left at the top. Along with it, seven months, seven days, seven hours, seven minutes, and seven-quarter. 9 Dec 2020. But today we can see there are more love marriages than arrange marriage. Ursprünglich stellte sie das Personal für diverse Dienste bei wichtigen religiösen Festen der Hauptstadt. Janku is celebration of life, when a man or women from Newar community in Nepal turns to 77 years old.The date for celebrating janku is calculated by the priest on the basic of lunar calendar. This is a ceremony of cleping of a newborn baby. After this, he resumes his normal life as a full-fledged adult of his community. It might come as a surprise that there are an appreciable number of boys who choose the life of a monk and move away from home to live in a vihar, a Buddhist monastery. Newar. Abandoning all the material pleasures. This is the final rites performed in the life of a member of Nepali community. There are also masked dance dramas known as Daboo Pyakhan which enact religious stories to the accompaniment of music. The materials on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, Besides this, there are further three more Janku ceremonies. Bahra tayegu or bahra choyegu is another tradition of the newar community. So, Ehee or Bel Bibaha is the first marriage of the girl except that she is married to the immortal God Kumar. Be the first one to review. The young boys, along with others of similar age from the community, parade around the neighborhood, formally announcing the beginning of their life as a monk. On the final day of barah, and similar to the bel-vivaha, the girl is dressed up in red and gold colors with jewelry. Consequently, it again happens at the age of 83, 88, and 99. Dream-Telling ritual. But they are compulsory in one’s life. That’s why many people prefer saying gufa to this rite. The idea behind such absurd sounding marriages is actually quietly romantic. The dead are taken to the bank of a holy river, most sacred being the bank of Bagmati in Pashupatinath. They made their child attain monkshood and nirvana by mimicking Gautama Buddha’s ascetic and mooching way of life. This symbolic act fulfilled the ascetic ideal so that he is now called a responsible family member. Large puja ceremonies take place in the event of a death in the family and almost all such ceremonies require the strict attendance and participation of guthiyaars, members of the community’s guthi. To perform this rite, boys should be five to thirteen years old according to the Newari culture. That indicates the 16 rites in Hindu and Buddhist religions. Should a Newar man or women live long enough, there are five rituals, known as ‘janku,’—which can be confusing, as the first rice feeding ceremony of a child is referred to as ‘janku’ as well—performed between the age of 77 and 106. Newari culture is beautiful and pure in itself. During death, numerous religious rituals have to be conducted properly by the family as well as Sana Guthi in order to ensure the soul to rest in peace. Before returning to domestic life, the boys take part in one last ritual where another puja is done and the strands of hair collected by the aunt are released at a holy confluence such as that of the Bagmati river for people living in the valley as an apology to the Buddha for ending the life of a monk and getting back to domestic life. A ritual is a set of actions performed mainly for their symbolic value. The bahra means gufa. But there is no need to go to the bride’s house for the groom. This is a very common ceremony or an act done in every family of the newar community. But of course, in exceptional ways. The sun is considered an avatar of Brahma, the creator of the universe, and after keeping the girl in a darkened room for 12 days as a symbolic form of purification, the first male person the little girl faces when she emerges from the room is the sun. The term usually refers to actions which are stylized, and usually excludes actions which are arbitrarily chosen by the performers. On the other hand, Hindu Newars perform this ceremony as a ritual of the first stage among four stages of life. Another important festival is the ‘Mha Puja’ (self worship) that takes place during the New Year as per the local calendar i.e. Most Newars worship both Buddhist and Hindu deities and, like the Hindus, they believe that dedicating the beginnings to lord Ganesh is auspicious. Ltd. All rights reserved. The barahacchuigu ceremony sees the boy observing life as a monk for four days. According to the myth, the crow and the dogs are the ancestors as well as the god of death. While Bratabandha is a coming of age ceremony which is mandatory before marriage for Hindus, for Newars the similar ritual is more about the opportunity to experience the life of a Buddhist monk, a bhichhu. A popular temple for the ritual is the Jal Binayak temple in Chobhar, right on the lap of the gorge where in mythology Manjushri cut down a hill with his mighty sword and drained the lake that was Kathmandu valley. After the birth of the child, it is customary to send the mother food related gifts such as nutmeg and candy. It is performed in Non-Newar Hindu marriage. Especially, inauspicious moments of life, people give the Sagun. Since all the rituals are already performed in the ihi ceremony. Newar boys are somewhat less privileged in this regard. In which, the young boy again abandons his family for the celibate religious life. In a Newari culture too, almost every ritual is as same as in other communities. It is performed by the son of the deceased and if the deceased don not have a son, a male relative or the priest performs the rituals. There are rituals repeated within a year. Vivaha means marriage. priestly ritual activities performed by those initiated into a sangha (Greenwold 1974a, 19746, 1978), and the absence of the celibate community that the sangha most often constitutes in other Buddhist contexts (Allen 1973).' Without the presence of guthiyaars, there are instances where proceedings come to an eerie stop altogether. It is a sacred ritual for the Newari girls and is conducted by Priest called Gubhaju for Buddhists Newars and Deobhaju for the Hindu Newars. At last but not the least, the ihi short form of ihipaa means a marriage. Newar marriages, and in fact most marriages in Nepal, seldom end in divorce. Most traditions of yesteryear are still carried out with enthusiasm and even children seem to know the basics about their rich culture. This ritual is done among the girl between the ages of four to eleven before reaching the period of puberty, where they are married to lord Shiva that the fruit is kept in his place. Elaborate ceremonies chronicle the life cycle of a Newar from birth till death. The Newar custom, similar to that of Hindus, is that the bride almost always leaves home at marriage and moves into her husband’s home and adopts her husband’s family name as her own. The deceased is cremated at a holy riverbank in Newar tradition and body is carried to the ghat on guthi members’ shoulders. Every member of the Community must take part in this ritual since the age of three. Interestingly, there is a similar alternative for girls who might prefer something other than spending 12 days in a darkened room during a barah. Janku is celebration of life, when a man or women from Newar community in Nepal turns to 77 years old.The date for celebrating janku is calculated by the priest on the basic of lunar calendar. So that if the girl’s husband dies later in the future, she is not considered a widow because she is married to Vishnu, who stands alive always and forever. During barah, female relatives as well as friends visit the young girl inside the barah room (euphemistically called the gufa, or cave). That roams up around upon a single person’s life from birth till death. The ceremony of feeding rice mixed with a little cow’s milk from a silver spoon to the baby. There are no multiple marriages for them, but there is a ceremony practiced by most Hindus called the bratabandha. Thus, at the age 77 years, 7 months, There is a newer movie that detailly shows the life of a girl processing the gufa and how she dies within that period. And henceforward became a responsible householder. Though the original rite seems to have been lost with the cultural invasion in the valley, Ihi is still performed among Newars with compulsion. Annaprasan is the ritual of rice feeding. When this seemingly strange Newar tradition known as gufa (cave) or barah (twelve) was known to the modern world, it created an uproar among human rights and women’s rights activists. ... they might still have a ritual that involves introducing their child to the larger community in which they live. Since all the rituals are already performed in the ihi ceremony. People are performing tradition from thousands of years with religious affiliation. Most Newars in Nepal follow Buddhism. Ihi rite also enforces the right of the widow’s remarriage in the Newar Community, thus liberating the women form Hindu orthodox viewpoint of one life one marriage system. If there are other little girls of that age in the family or neighborhood, a group marriage ceremony may be held, where each little girl is dressed up and traditional rites and rituals are performed for marrying her off to a fruit! A marriage facilitator called a lamhi is paid to play cupid, to arrange most Newar marriages. Cultures often ritualize marriage. Somehow, today people perform only 10 rituals out of 16. For the Newar girl child, the next big day is bel vivaha, or the marriage of the little girl with the fruit of the Bel tree (of the species Aegle marmelos). The room is often darkened by boarding up the windows, allowing no sunlight to seep in. The wood apple fruit is a symbol for Lord Kumar, son of Lord Shiva(one of the most divine deities in Hinduism) as a bridegroom. While its traditional role was to look after needy people in the community by promoting equality through festivals and various rites and rituals, the guthi still important in Newar society largely due to its mandatory role in almost all Newar functions. After a member has finished his telling the others say the standard phrase: “Thank you for your dream (name)”. This practice, too has been subject to change with the progressive increase in love marriages. Normally, when a person reaches the age of 77 years. 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