Jyaa Punhi, the Festival of Panauti

panauti jatra

Jyaa Punhi (the full moon of the month of Jestha, May-June), called also Palanti Punhi, is the most important festival of Panauti (or Palanti colloquially), the small historic Newar city located at the junction of Punyamati and Rosi rivers, in the Banepa valley.  During nearly ten days, the inhabitants of Panauti celebrate and pay homage to their protecting deities: Indreshwar Mahadev, Bhadrakali, Unmatta Bhairav and Brahmayani. The idols are taken out of their temples, placed in palanquin or ceremonial chariots and carried/pulled in the various quarters of the city according to a prescribed route. It is a period of joy, of family gathering, of feast, and visit to friends. People play music, eat meat and drink alcohol. Jyaa Punhi also corresponds to a seasonal change, announcing the coming of the nourishing monsoon rain.

This festival is the Desh Jatra, “the festival of the territorial community”, of Panauti. It is peculiar to this city and cannot be seen in other Newar towns or village. People from Banepa, Bhaktapur, and even sometimes from Nala, come to attend it. The pageant expresses the unity of the locality, its distinctiveness. All Newar castes of the city collaborate to carry out the various functions. Hindu priests: Rajopadhyayas, Karmacaryas, Jangams, perform the ceremonies.

This festival is the Desh Jatra, “the festival of the territorial community”, of Panauti. It is peculiar to this city and cannot be seen in other Newar towns or village. People from Banepa, Bhaktapur, and even sometimes from Nala, come to attend it. The pageant expresses the unity of the locality, its distinctiveness. All Newar castes of the city collaborate to carry out the various functions. Hindu priests: Rajopadhyayas, Karmacaryas, Jangams, perform the ceremonies.

 

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