For the curious, here are a few more details about the photos in the last post, which I took on December 29th, when invited to the name-day ceremony for the new baby girl of a Newari family who are good friends of mine.
This event is held on the 9th day after a baby’s birth. While I can’t claim to understand all the nuances of the day, the simple explanation is that it is a religious ceremony performed by a Brahmin priest where the baby receives its auspicious religious name. This is not what the baby will actually be called, nor even her legal name, but is nonetheless a very important part of culture and society. You can see the name written in Sanskrit on the pipal leaf.
Also involved was lots of incense and ritual offerings of banana leaf bowls filled with flowers, rice, fruit and other foods, each laden with symbol and meaning.
At the end of it all, delicious celebratory Newari food. A young member of the family really, really wanted one of my peas!