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Janai Purnima: A Cultural Celebration in Nepal

Nepal is celebrating Janai Purnima or Rakshya Bandhan festival today, 15th August 2019. This is a Hindu festival celebrated widely throughout the country. One of the major Hindu festivals in the country, Janai Purnima falls on the full moon day.

Literally speaking, Janai is a sacred thread worn by Hindu men around their shoulder and Purnima is a full moon. This festival is also the day of Raksha Bandhan – the day of holy protection. Hindu pilgrims make it to different holy temples of Shiva to perform rituals and get the sacred Raksha Bandhan in their hand.

This festival is also the day for the Hindu men to change their Janai – the sacred thread around their shoulder. They take a holy bath; perform rituals; change the Janai and get Raksha Bandhan from the Brahmins. Shiva temples around the country get a huge number of people worshiping the god.

A big day for Shamans

Janai Purnima is also an important and big day for Shamans. The shamanic tradition that is in existence in Nepal observes Janai Purnima as a big day to perform their rituals. They make pilgrimage trips to Gosainkunda in the Langtang region, Kumbheshwor temple in Patan, and Charikot in Dolakha. Thousands of Shamans and other pilgrims make it to these holy sites to worship. In addition to these special holy sites, people flock to other Shiva temples around the country.

Shamans from Nepal and other parts of the world also gather together to practice their rituals on this day.

Special Feast of Kwati in Kathmandu

Janai Purnima in Kathmandu valley is also known as Gunhi Punhi in Newari culture. They prepare a special mix of lentils and beans a few days prior to the festival; wet it and let it sprout. This special mixture is called Kwati. People prepare a nutritious soup out of this mixed beans and lentils to enjoy a feast. They invite relatives to their home and enjoy the festival and feast together. This day is also a great day to enjoy the get togetherness.
People also prepare various delicious foods in addition to Kwati on the day.

Cultural Immersion Experience

As the day is one of the major festivals in the country that attracts a lot of tourists, it is also a big cultural experience for the tourists. Planning a trip to Nepal around this festival can give you an experience of rich cultural immersion. You can enjoy people observing the festival with various ritual performances.

One of the festival tours in Nepal, Janai Purnima offers you an incredible opportunity to learn about Nepalese culture and lifestyle. Trekking to Langtang Gosainkunda during this time with the plan to be at Gosaikunda on the day brings you an experience of a lifetime. A day tour of Kathmandu that includes Patan today is also a great opportunity to experience the rich cultural happenings.

Happy Janai Purnima and Rakshya Bandhan to all from Adventure Himalaya Circuit Treks and Expedition!  

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