Janai Purnima

Janai Purnima is celebrated by people all over Nepal. It is viewed as a different event by different groups andregion within the country.

Janai Purnima

Janai purnima is celebrated in various parts of Nepal as a 'Janai' (sacred thread) wearing ceremony. It's a Hindu festival which falls on Shrawan Shukla Pakshya. This day usually falls in the month of August. Bramhin and Chhetris celebrate this day as Janai Purnima. People from the Terai region celebrate it as Raksha Bandhan. The Newa community takes this day as Kwati purnima. Different ethnic groups in different regions of Nepal celebrate these festivals in their own way.

According to Vedic Hindu scriptures, a group of six threads made out of raw thread is worshiped with Brahma Sutra. It becomes a sacred thread known as 'Janai'. The first three threads represent Trideva 'Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwar' and the second three threads symbolize  karma, worship and knowledge. Janai Purnima is an auspicious day for Hindu community. Hindu people who have completed their 'Bratabandha' ceremony change their 'Janai' and read chant.

Other than Janai, the Hindu community also wear thread(Doro) on their hand from the brahmin gurus. While wearing it, Gurus also reads the mantra. In the Terai region, sisters tie a thread (rakhi) on their brother’s hand and brothers offer gifts to their sisters. This is done to protect their brothers from evil. It also reminds brothers that they are supposed to look after them. Similarly, the Newar community celebrates ‘ Kwati purnima’ on this very day. They eat nine types of sprouted cereals and beans.

A huge fair is held at GosainKunda which is a famous Shivalaya in the himalaya of Langtang. People believe lord Shiva after drinking 'Halahal poison' went to Gosainkunda to take a rest in a cold lake. After that he could barely resist the burning sensation of the 'Halahal'. As he neither swallowed nor spelt it out, he was given the name 'Nilkantha'.

Myths about Janai Purnima

During Mahabharata, Lord Krishna is said to have spoken about the raksha bandhan taken from a priest after bathing in holy water. It's not exactly known when tagadharis started wearing tagas(sacred thread) but the tradition has been there for a long time.

Myths about Kwati Purnima

It's a day before Gaijatra, people from the Newar community call this day Byan-ja Nakegu. It means 'offering for Frogs'. On this day, people offer 'Kwati' to the frogs that get killed during plantation season. Newari people in Kathmandu believe that frogs summoned rain from lord Indra. When they feed frogs with Kwati, they will stop uttering and the rain shall eventually stop till farmers harvest the paddy planted on 15th of Asadh.

Myths about Rakhshya Bandhan

The Terai community believe Shuba and Labha, two sons of Demigod Ganesh, were the first ones to celebrate this day as raksha bandhan. On this day Santoshi (Ganesha’s daughter) was born in the family of Shubha and Labha who wanted to celebrate raksha bandhan but had no sister happily tied the protection knot from Santoshi Maa.

It is also said Yamuna tied rakhi to Yama(lord of death) and got blessed with immortality. So, Yama declared that the brother who tied rakhi from their sisters and promised for her protection will become immortal.

Sanskrit language day

Nepalese celebrate this day as Sanskrit day, which is also a tribute to Devanagari language’s development from Sanskrit or Tatsama language. The Nepal government has announced this day as Sanskrit language day. Nepali language evolved from the main script of Sanskrit called 'Vedas' is believed to have resided for the first time on Shrawan’s full moon day.

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