The sacred Thread Festival “ Janai Purnima ”
Janai Purnima is one of the important and great festivals for Hindu People. Janai Purnima is also known as Rakshya Bandhan. This festival is about the holy thread which is about bound of purity and security. In this day there is big fair at Khumbeshwor, Lalitpur and many devotees go to the Gosaikunda, which is believed as the mountain lake which is consider as holy sites of Lord Shiva. This Festival is celebrated at the full moon day of 21st August in this year. In Janai Purnima every temple of the Kathmandu valley has got fair. On this special festival Government has confirmed public holiday to the people. According to the legend following the celebration of Janai Purnima is held because Lord Vishnu once punished his proud devotee who is known as Bali. Then Lord Vishnu ties Bali with the scared thread and sent him to Hell. Then the legend say that from that day it was introduced as sacred threads(Janai) which was tied around the wrists or other parts of body by Hindu peoples to get free from their sins. So from that time it has been celebrated in great way.
In Janai Purnima the men of Hindu religion change their Janai. Janai means the sacred thread which is provide to the men by doing the long process of religious ceremony which is known as Bratabandha. This janai have to be wear by the man for his whole life after listen the mantra from during the Bartabandhan. Actually the Janai is regarded as the symbol of body, speech and mind and when these three knots are tired and given to wear to the person then is it supposed that it will give complete control over each of them. In Janai Purnima men change their Janai and the married girl and unmarried girl put the scared thread around their wrist.
One day before the Janai Purnima the men will have great experience of the partial fasting that they will have meal one time only but the meal should be vegetarian like no meat, onion, and garlic. The meal must be pure. In the Janai Purnima morning the men usually takes bath by going near river or ponds and dip for three times and break old Janai and wear new janai which is given by the Priest by chanting the mantra. In the same way in the city area the priest come to the residence and the whole family gather together to celebrate the festival. The priest reads the important story from the holy book known as Patro, and the new Janai is given to the men and priest tie the yellow or red color thread to the hand of the women. Then the family members offer Dakshina to him. The people believed that the thread which you has wear today should be removed after the laxmi Puja because people believed that if you will tie the thread to the tail of a cow then after death of people it will help to cross the river known as the Baitarni and the journey of the soul after life. In this special day there is a special food has been made but specially the Kwati. Kwati is delicious soup made of 9 different beans. In Newari community people celebrate this festival as Kwat purnima.
Janai Purnima is also called as Raksha Bandhan. Where Raksha means protection and Bandhan means bond, this bound will protect against evil. According to the historical relation and legend the Raksha Bandhan ceremony was followed by Lord Yama (Lord of Death) and his sister Yamuna (the river in Northern India). Yamuna tied rakhi to Yama and present immortality. Then the Yama was so moved by the peacefulness of the occasion that he declared that whoever gets a rakhi tied from his sister the brother promised her protection will become immortal. Then till now this ceremony is being celebrated by the Hindu people that symbolized the sister loves and goodwill for their brothers and same way the brothers promised her sister to protect her for lifelong.
In Kathmandu valley, Pashupatinath, Guheswari, Kumbheswar and Bhadrakali have seen large number of devotees gathering since early morning to tie the sacred thread in the hand.