Janai Purnima is one of the auspicious day celebrated in Nepal. The date varies every year. For 2019, this festival falls on 15th August; as per Nepali date, it’s on 30th Shrawan, 2076. Also Rakshya Bandhan is celebrated on the same day. It’s always celebrated in Purnima (full moon day). This day is celebrated in different ways in different region by different community of people and they hold its own significance.
Janai Purnima can be said as festival of sacred thread. On this day, men change their Janai (cotton string worn across the chest). Janai is only worn by those men who have performed Bartamandha which is another religious ceremony. Janai has three strings which is knotted together. Those three thead represents boy, speech and mind. It is believed that one who wears it is supposed to have a control over those symbols.
Similarly, some celebrate this day as Rakshya Bandhan. ‘Rakshya’ means security and ‘Bandhan’ means bond. On this day, people tie a scared thread around their wrist, especially from priest. This ritual is performed especially by Brahmins and Chettris ethnic group. It is believed that this tread will bring good luck. The dore (thread) is tied till the month of October and then on Laxmi Puja, they tie the same thread on the tail of the cow. It is believed that doing so, cow will lead is to heaven after death.
Also on this very day, all family members reunite and have feasts of Kwati (sprout lentils). Also Newar call this day as Kwati Purnima. We can also observe people flocking to Shiva temples. On full moon day, people go to Holy River and take dips in water. It is also one of the rituals. This day highlights the bond of pureness and security.
Rakhshya Bandhan is called as ‘Rakhi Day’, a day of celebrating a beautiful bond that sisters and brothers or siblings have. On this day sisters tie rakhi(band) on the wrist of the brothers in order to pray for his prosperity, health and well-being. In return brothers promises to protect his sister and stand by her in any circumstances. The festival is not only celebrated by siblings, distinct family members or cousions, but also girls tie rakhi to those whom she considers as her brother, even if he is not related by blood.
Nepal being blessed with the natural beauty comprising diverse geography, unique topography, and rich biodiversity, it is also blessed rich culture and tradition. This is only one of the day that is marked on our calendar and is celebrated delightedly.