KATHMANDU, Aug 3: Nepali Hindus are observing Janai Purnima festival across the country today. It falls on Shrawan Shukla Purnima every year.
The festival holds a great significance among Nepali Hindus. Janai refers to the sacred thread, and Purnima means full moon day, and this sacred thread is changed on Shrawan Shukla Purnima. Hence, the festival is called Janai Purnima.
Brahmins, Chhetris and Vaishyas change their Janai worn across the chest on this occasion. Janai is given only to the males of Brahmins, Chhetris and Vaishyas during Bratabandha, a ritual of Hindu youths that should be performed before their marriage. Janai is the triple cord made of cotton. It is a symbol of body, speech and mind. Hindu males visit lakes, ponds and rivers to take bathe today and change their Janai worn across the chest.
Hindu people are thronging various temples across the capital including Pashupatinath, Kumbheswor,
A doro (strand) is tied wrist on the occasion of Janai Purnima. People perceive that God will protect them if they use doro. On occasion, people consume delicious Kwati soup. The soup is prepared by mixing sprouts of nine different pulses.
Meanwhile, sisters and brothers also celebrate Janai Purnima in their own way. Especially, in Terai, this festival is marked by the tying of a Rakhi on a brother’s wrist by the sister for his long life and well-being. This tradition has helped to promote bond among the brothers and sisters.
Similarly, Kathmandu Valley folks are also observing Gunhi Punhi today. Kwati soup is relished by those celebrating as part of festivities. Gunhi Punhi is better known as Kwati Punhi. People from the Newar community offer various food items to frogs on this day. People worship frog considering them as messenger of god of rainfall.