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Janai Purnima 2024

One of the biggest days for higher class Hindus. During the event, ​the pilgrims bathe in the sacred water and change the threads on their hands

Dates: August 30, 2023

Janai Purnima
Janai Purnima
Janai Purnima

The event takes place every August during the full moon and celebrates Shiva by emulating sacred bathing. Pilgrims also change the threads on their wrists to red or yellow for protection. A large number of Brahmins gather at the holy riverbanks on this full moon day. Alongside offering ablution to the gods, they take ritual baths in the water and chant a powerful Gayatri mantra.

Janai Purnima Traditions and Meaning

Every year on the full moon day of the month of Shrawan, men who wear the sacred thread called Janai bathe at dawn in the nearest river or pond, exchange the Janai given to them by a priest, and then tie the sacred thread around their wrists.

Hindus believe that this sacred thread sanctifies the soul and protects the body from evil spirits, while also bringing good luck. Once the thread is tied around the wrist, it is worn for several months without removal. Eventually, during the Tihar festival, it is ceremoniously tied to the tail of a cow.

Also, there is a tradition of brothers having sisters tie the Rakhi on their wrists with a promise that they will always take care of their sisters.

On this day, families gather to cook and enjoy delicious food. One of the main dishes is a bean mixture called 'Kwati,' traditionally made on Janai Purnima. The night before, nine different varieties of lentils are soaked to prepare this nutritious soup, which is a culinary delight.

In Patan, at the sacred site of Kumbheswar, a lavishly adorned Lingam representing Lord Shiva stands upon an elevated platform within the Kumbheswar pond, where worshippers pay their respects. Additionally, a unique ceremony known as Byan-ja Nakegu unfolds here, where rice is ceremoniously presented to frogs as an expression of gratitude for good spell of rain.

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Authors: Olena Basarab