Newari culture in Nepal
Newari Culture in Nepal :- Nepal is a beautiful country with cultural diversification. People of different caste and religion live here. It is a small country but the culture, tradition is present. One of the beautiful cultures of Nepal is Newari culture followed by Newar. Newar people follow both Hinduism and Buddhism. And, they have their own cultural dress which they wear in many of the occasions.
Newar are very rich in culture as they have the unique living lifestyle. The way of living and celebrating different festivals binds the newar people and brings the feeling of brotherhood and co-operation. From the birth to death, there are several customs, family gathering which is unique and is making the Newari culture rich.Actually, the Newari culture is very vast consisting many castes with a different culture, tradition, and their own values. Newars are regarded as the original inhabitants of the Kathmandu valley but their origins are as a mystery. Their language is Newari. They celebrated different festivals, customs with joy.
Rice feeding ceremony;
It is organized in six or seven months of birth if the child is the boy. But if the child is the girl then this ceremony is organized in 5 months. Family members, relatives were gathered and this ceremony is performed. After worshipping Ganesh, the child is offered rice pudding with lots of varieties of food with the belief that the child gets similar food as offered in this day throughout his life. At this ceremony, the baby child is dressed in the red cultural dress.
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At any age before mensuration, the girl child is married with bel by making a grand puja. In this puja, many girls of Newar locality are involved having the age less than the menstrual period.
In the birthday celebration, it is compulsory to have wine. In the morning, all the family members go to the temple to worship god. They have a small party in the house for celebration or some people go to orphanage or old age home to celebrate the birthday.
Baratayegu( for girls);
After the age of 11/12 years, the girl is kept in dark room with no light of the sun and no interact with opposite sex. She even can’t go out of her room up to 12 days. This custom to remain inside the room is called gufa or barah. At the first day, she is kept in a room at night neat and clean in the absence of men. In the room, two girls are kept but if there is only one girl then the doll is made & is kept with her. Up to 3 days, no salt is taken. In the 4th day, friends, relatives come to meet them offering varieties of food. In the 12th day, the girl is made pure by bathing and she is allowed to look at the sun by making little space from her fingers each for 12 times. Now she is married with the sun by making puja.
This ceremony is done to worship the inner cloth of the boy. The hair of the boy is shaved at the age of around 8 to 16 normally. Various pujas are done by the priest.
The marriage ceremony is done for 2 days. In the first day, dowry is given to the family of bridegroom by the family of the bride. But with the draft of the law against dowry system, the heavy demand of the dowry is being lowed. Also, the party is given to all villagers. In the 2nd day, the maternal uncle from both the side brings the kunda (diyo). It is believed not to blow the lamp for the whole day. Puja is done and bride and bridegroom take round around the fire and boy put Sindur in the head of the girl. Less number of family, friends, and relatives are involved in the marriage. Actually, Newar girls do marriage three times in her lifetime, with the fruit of bel tree, the sun, and a man. If her husband died, then she doesn’t become the widow because it is believed that her two husbands ( the sun & Bel) are still alive. It is a good tradition towards widow pratha.
Newar is rich in culture. So, they celebrate many festivals such as Shrawan 15, Dashain, Tihar(maha puja), and various jatras. In Dashain, elders put tika on the forehead of juniors and give a blessing.
Swanti is the festival which is celebrated for 5 days in which inmaha puja i.e. in the 5th day of Tihar, brothers are worshiped by the sister. The place to put tika is first made pure and on the floor, many pictures are made. The 7 types of tika are put to the elder brother. In the plate or tapari, different fruits, sweets are kept and it is touched in the leg, hand and head of brother with the believe in making the brother strong. Gifts, varieties of foods, eggs, and wine are offered to the brother. And brother also gives gift to sister.
In Shrawan 15, Newar celebrates with enthusiasm and joy. They especially, eat Kwati ( the mixture of many beans). They visit their relatives, friends house and have a get-together and offer the Kwati, wine etc.
Also, kumari is worshiped by the people in the time of the festival. The virgin girl is kept as kumari nd her schooling is done in the temple-like place. She is not allowed to go outside.
Newar people many Jatras in many occasions. In the new year, they celebrate Bisketjatra in which a huge chariot carrying a statue of Kalbhairav is pulled hundreds of people and assembled in the temple.
Ghodejatra or horse parade is celebrated especially by the Newar of Kathmandu. It is organized in the Chaitra Suklapakshya. It mainly falls in mid march or early April of English calender. The parade is performed by the Nepal army and Nepal police together.
Setomachindrajatra is also celebrated by near people. The chariot procession is done in Chaitra month. It is the 3 days long festival. The chariot of setomachindrajatra is pulled from place to place.
Indrajatra is celebrated for 8 days. The 1st days is observed by the Newars to remember their family members who have died. In the last day, the linga is pulled down. It is specially organized before Dashain and Tihar.
They burn the body of dead people in the religious place. In some of the community, Female are not allowed to go to the funeral but most of the community allowed the female. The mourning period held for 13 days.
Newari culture is beautiful and pure in itself. Newar people live together in harmony and it is the beautiful part of the Newar community.
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