11th NOA Yenya Punhi (Indra Jatra) Festival of Nepal, 2023
Major attractions of the Yenya Punhi event:
Observing the presence of symbolic living goddess Kumari:
“Kumari” refers to the living goddess, a young prepubescent girl who is considered the embodiment of divine feminine energy. The Kumari tradition is an essential aspect of Nepal’s cultural heritage, representing the intertwining of ancient religious beliefs and cultural practices. The Kumari is highly revered by the people of Nepal, and her blessings are sought during important religious and social events. Many believe that receiving her blessings will bring good fortune and protection. Come and join us at the Yenya Punhi festival to get blessings from the symbolic living goddess Kumari.
Tantrum of Lakhey:
“Lakhey” is a demon-like figure portrayed as a fearsome, and red-faced creature with its significance during the Yenya Punhi festival, where a masked dancer representing Lakhey impersonates this mythical figure and performs traditional dance on the streets. It is believed that despite being a demon, Lakhey was made to protect the children in the Kathmandu valley. You will witness Lakhey and his tantrum in the Yenya Punhi festival.
Display of Pulukisi:
Pulukisi a symbolic elephant can be found running around the streets of Kathmandu valley during the time of Yenya Punhi. It is believed that a long time ago, Indra descended to earth disguising as a human being in search of a special flower called Parijaat. While searching for it somewhere in Kilagal, Kathamndu, Indra got caught by the locals. Pulukisi then came to the valley in search of Indra. That’s the reason, we find Pulukisi on the streets of Kathmandu during the Yenya Punhi. And yes…… you will find Pulukisi on the streets of Black hill regional park on the day of Yenya Punhi celebration even in Washington DC.
Feel experience of pulling Kumari Rath:
Kumari Rath is an integral part of the Yenya Punhi. It is a ceremonial chariot that carries Kumari in a grand procession. NOA has constructed the Kumari Rath for the first-time outside Nepal to give the real feel of Yenya Punhi to the Nepalese diaspora of the DC metro area. The Kumari Rath is traditionally a richly adorned wooden structure, intricately carved and painted with vibrant colors, reflecting the rich artistic heritage of Nepal. It is a hand pulled chariot with no age/gender/religious restrictions to pull it. Many of us never had experience of pulling the Kumari Rath in Nepal, but here you go…. you get to experience this on the Yenya Punhi celebration day.
Samay Baji is the most popular newah cuisine for every single Nepalese with no exception. It is a traditional Newah dish from the Kathmandu Valley. It is a popular and elaborate platter of various delicacies served during special occasions, festivals, and celebrations. Samay Baji is an integral part of Newah culture and is often prepared and shared during festivities like Yenya Punhi, Nepal Sambat (New Year), and other important cultural events. It consists of the balanced nutrition in the form of mouthwatering food items such as Baji (Chiura), Chowela, Bhuti (Bhatmaas), Aloo, Bara, Achar, Dahi etc. And most importantly, this is prepared voluntarily by 100s families around DC area to serve 1000s of participants on the Yenya Punhi celebration day. Don’t you think it’s worth attending this event then?
Black Hill Regional Park
20930 Lake Ridge Drive
Boyds, MD 20841
Newah Organization of America July 30th, 2023