Bahra, Newari Culture

Bahra is also known as surya bibaha or gufa rakhne in Nepali language.  In this ceremony, the girl is married to the Sun. It is believed that the girl is protected by the sun from bad and the evils after this ceremony.

A girl is kept in a room for 12 days away from Sunlight and not allowed to meet any male person. Also, not consuming any salt for the first six days is part of this ritual. Sixth day onwards, powder called ‘Koaa’, a makeup material, is used by all the women to make them look beautiful. It is used especially by the Bahra girl to help them look good when they come out of hiding on the 12th day.

It is only after 11 days, the girl is considered as pure and holy. Then, the girl pays homage to the Sun. She will be bathed and will be blind folded. She is then taken to the open space to have Surya Darshan (meet Sun).  Fistful wheat seed and rice is given to the girl that she throws backward. This is done for three times. Sindoor, a red tika like material, is put on the forehead of the girl and new dress is presented. The girl now can wear a sari, she is considered as women. The girl is then given Sagun, first to the ancestral deity, then to other family members.

After this ceremony the girl becomes an adolescent, irrespective of fact that, this culture can be slightly different in different families.

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