Sagun for Savya’s Second Birthday!

This year, Savya turned 2, and I couldn’t have been happier than to see him growing into his own person. Growing or sprouting? I mean, kid is already 97cm… He wears age 3-4 clothing because he’s so tall. His baby chubbiness is gone, but I still see little traces of his sweet baby giggles behind that mischevious toddler grin he flashes me before doing something he shouldn’t.

Savya is Nepalese, but shares backgrounds from both the Gurung and Newar indigenous cultural groups of Nepal. Suraj is Gurung, while my family is Newar. Although we are both Nepalese, the two indigenous groups have different rituals, rules, and traditions. In Newar culture, the second birthday is largely and loudly celebrated. These parties can be quite lavish, but many people now opt to do something a bit low-key. As the family celebrated Savya’s 1st birthday with a rainbow themed party, and as my side is far away in California, Suraj and I decided to forego the tradition and do something fun that the three of us would enjoy. However, I made sure to do a traditional sagun for my little man. I was nervous because it was the first time I was doing it, and that too, without my Mom next to me to guide me.

Sagun is basically for good luck, as it features prayers and well wishes during special occasions or before travels. In this case, it was a way of expressing my well wishes and blessings for Savya as he turned 2.

Sagun Menu will always have bara (lentil pancakes), pan fried boiled eggs, chicken, whole fish (head and tail in tact), assorted fruits, unopened yoghurt, and unopened whiskey. The key is for it to be unopened as it has to be first offered to the God’s. Whereas most Hindu’s do not offer meat and alcohol to their deity’s, the Newar culture will especially do so.

Our Sagun Menu:

  • Pan fried boiled eggs
  • Mung bean pancakes (mung ko bara)
  • Whole sprats, fried
  • Chicken pieces, stir-fried with spices
  • Chiura
  • Assorted fruits
  • Sel Roti (sweetened and fried rice flour dough) –> aka Nepali Donut
  • Fluffy Chiffon Cake with fresh cream and fresh fruits (1 large cake for the family, 1 small cake for the little man.)
  • Whole fat organic greek yoghurt
  • Whiskey

I am very lucky that my dear mother-in-law cooked the chicken, fish, and sel roti. She is always so helpful, which I am very thankful for.


The spread!
Left to right: chiura, fish, bara, eggs, chicken
Puja samaan (prayer items), fruit platter, yoghurt, whiskey
The sweet stuff!
Sel roti
8″ Fresh fruit cake!
Personal cake for the birthday boy

Everyone enjoyed the foods, including the bara, which I was glad turned out quite tasty for my first try. Only complaint was that they were too big! Next time, I will try to make it smaller by using an ice cream scoop, as that has worked well for me when making pancakes. Shall I post the recipe?

Happy 2nd birthday, Savya!