Janai Purnima /Rakxya Bandan festival being observed in Nepal
The festival of Janai Purnima, Rakxya Bandan, and Kwati is celebrated by different ethnic communities of Hindus at the same day. This festival can be observed throughout the country in Nepal. These festivals are discussed below in details. The rituals and traditions practice of celebrating these festival are supposed to be some different among ethnic communities. Janai purnima this year as per the Nepali and English calendar is on the Bhadra 12,2072 and August 26, 2015 respectively.
Janai Purnima Festival
Janai Purnima festival is mainly related to the Brahmins and Chetri group. Exact meaning of Janai is a sacred thread made of a cotton string given to males to tie around the chest during a long and impressive religious ceremony at Bratabanda, Bratabandhan is basically a formal process of accepting someone in the religion. Purnima means the full moon day, On the whole, in this occasion, Bhraman and Chhetri communities in Nepal performs their annual change of Janai for the Hindus Nepalse men especially Brahmins and Chettris caste people during the full moon day. This day for Brahmin and Chhetri male is made their Janai change with wearing a new by taking off old one. After bathing in the river they change the sacred thread worn across their chest from the priest with mantra. Janai is changed by the priest with mantra after taking bath in nearby river. They tie a new sacred thread around their wrist (janai) from this day for a year.
Newar communities also celebrate this festival by worshipping along with offering different food items to the frog that as an agent of the god of rainfall, there is a traditional belief that they worship in the hope of increasing the production of crops. It also signifies beginning of the cold season and the end of the rainy season in Nepal.
All Hindu Nepalese people except non Brahmin and Chhetri celebrate this festival with tie of sacred colorful thread around the wrist called Rakxya Bandan. There is myth of celebration that sacred Janai protect them from the dangers sickness in coming year. In this day, there is enormous people crowd around the temple to tie the thread around wrist from priest with chanting mantra. This thread is tied right wrist to men and left wrist to women. People keep on wearing this thread in their wrist till Tihar, second great festival of Hindu. Then, thread tied on wrist is removed with tie again on the tail of a cow at Laxmi puja (in the cow worship).
Janai Bandan is also marked by the Rakhi,. In this festival of Rakhi, sisters tie a delicate cord of Rakhi or holy thread on the wrist of her brother. This festival is alike to Bhai Tika in Tihar to some communities across Nepal. The brothers offer in return to their sister a gift. It is a medium to exchange, share show love and affection between brothers and prays for their brothers’ long life.
Another popular celebration in Rakxya Bandan or Janai Purnima is to eat a special ingredients hot soup. This day is mainly known as the Kwati (a special food) in Newar community, Kwati is Newari word its meaning is hot soup. Kwati is a soup of nine-mixed-beans – Black-eye Peas, Cow Peas, Black Lentils, Mung, Peas, Rajmas, Chickpeas, Soybeans, Favas. Some mix more beans too.