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Janai Purnima- The Sacred Festival

14 July, 2017
Sapana Maharjan
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Janai Purnima is one of the very magnanimous festivals of Nepal. The Brahmans and Chretry community change their sacred thread "janai" on this day from their guru after taking a holy bath or deep in the river. Janai is tied long from around their left neck to the next right armpits below. They tie the dhago around their right wrist also from the guru. 

Janai is sacred thread, and Purnima is full moon day, thus it is Janai festival in the full moon day of Shrawan month of Bikram Sambat calendar. It is observed in the month of Shrawan. This festival falls in the 26 August 2018 (10 Bhadra 2075).  

Janai Purnima is "Sacred Thread Festival". On this day, Hindu men, especially the Brahmins and Chettris perform their annual change of Janai and all who celebrates this festival put a scared thread around their wrist. It is also called Rakshya Bandhan as this festival observes the bond of purity and security.  This festival is celebrated by Hindus all over the world. 

Janai is a cotton string worn across the chest by Hindu male. This thread is only given to males during a long and impressive religious ceremony called Bratabandhan. Almost all the religion has type of Bratabandhan, but known by different names. Bratabandhan is basically a formal process of accepting someone in the religion.  

A day before Janai purnima the persons wearing janai should make themselves 'clean' by shaving or cutting hair and take a good bath. They undergo a partial fasting, taking only one meal of foods considered to be 'clean' - no meat, no onions or garlic. Before big event Hindus prefer to clean their body by keeping fasting. Satvic food is prescribed for all Hindu ritual and festival. 

In the Purnima morning men usually go to rivers and ponds nearby, to take secret bath dipping himself thrice in the water. Men, then change their Janai. Break the old ones.  

However in cities, the family priest (Pandit / Puret) comes to the residence. The entire family gathers around pandit as he reads the importance and stories of the from a holy book (patro) and performs a ceremony, which purifies the new thread, and places it about the men’s neck across the chest. In a payment the priest is given foodstuffs and monies. 

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