Tharu community of Nawalpur and Chitwan are celebrating “Yamosa” festival or “Pitri Aunsi” today.
This year, tharus from Nawalpur and Chitwan are celebrating the festival in a group with the motive of preserving tharu culture and tradition informed by the Tharu Welfare Society. The tharu community has asked for a public holiday marking this long-run festival.
‘Yamosa’ festival is celebrated by tharus from Nawalpur and Chitwan only. This festival is considered one of the important festivals of tharu community. As this festival lies in “Sorhasaraddha aunsi” it is also known as “Pitri aunsi”. In this festival, the tharus make offerings to their ancestors, also known as “Pitri”.
The day before Ghatasthapana, the first day of Dashain is known as “Yamosa”. In the tharu community if any family member died through the year then their final rites are done on this day. Also, “Jutho” or mourning of a family member is also released on this day. This festival is celebrated by the tharus for two days.
One day before the “ Yamosa” festival is known as “Machuwari” which means fishing day. On this day thaur people go for fishing in the nearby rivers, ponds, Lakes etc, goats are also offered in this festival.
On the second day which is the “Yamosa” festival, the men of the family go to get “Siru-Kash”, they make a one-hand long broom out of it and clean it. Then after they wipe the area with Cow Dung, the bundle of “Siru” is placed in a stool or chair. This is known as “Pithri Sthapana” or “Pahuni bithoi”. It is then decorated with flowers, an umbrella is also placed to save it from the sun. Offerings of paan, beetle nut, cardamom, tobacco products, alcohol etc are done to the “Pahuni”.
After that, everyone wears new clothes and offer alcohol and water to “Pahuni” or the deceased. If any family member of the tharu community has deceased within the year the goat’s blood is offered on this day.
Only after all the offerings are made, everyone is allowed to take meals.
After the “Chhaki” daughter and son-in-law or any other guest are invited and treated to delicious meals. Feeding the guest is known as “ Pitari Bethoi”. The family members can eat only after the guests. Afterwards, oil is applied to the guest’s hair and combed. The guests are also sprinkled water with a “nanglo” to make them feel cool. This is known as “ Pitpitrayan Bidharai”.
Everyone who enters a tharu home is considered a guest on this day and treated with delicacies. On “Yamosa” guests are seen as “ Pitri gan”.
All the villagers enjoy this day by playing swings, treating guests, singing folk songs etc. Kids also plant a “Mwarrha” on the road in the evening, which the adults are supposed to remove.
Children also form groups and go to others’ houses to eat “Yamosa” in the evening.