The festival of Janai Purnima festival was observed across the country on August 21, Wednesday. The occasion sees Hindus, who celebrate it, wear the Janai or the sacred thread and taking holy dips in ponds and river confluences.
On that day, the Tagadharis (Hindus wearing the sacred thread) discard the old sacred thread and put on a new one that is sanctified by the priest. They also have sanctified thread tied up around their wrists in the form of an amulet.
They also make offerings to the Saptarishis (seven legendary Rishis or sages) and to their departed fathers and fore-fathers on this day.
Devotees throng the Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu, the Kumbheshwar Temple and the Saptarishi shrine in Lalitpur, Gosainkunda in Rasuwa, the Gangasagar and Dhanushsagar ponds in Janakpurdham, Dansanghu pilgrimage in Jumla and other major pilgrimage sites across the country on the occasion of the Janai Purnima festival.
This festival observed by the Hindus on the full moon day in the Nepali month of Saun is also popularly known as “Gunhu Punhi” in the Newar community.
According to time-honoured tradition, the people receive the ´Rakshya Bandhan´ thread, which is tied around the wrist as an amulet. The yellow thread is purified through the chanting of mantras by Brahmins as a symbol of protection from fear and disease. They also observe the occasion as “Kwanti Purnima”.
Kwanti, a soup prepared from nine different beans, is a special delicacy added to the Nepali menu today.
The “Kulabarna Tantra” Tantrik text says that the soup is highly nutritious and keeps diseases away.
A big religious fair takes place at the Gosaikund Lake every year and pilgrims come from faraway places to take a holy dip in this lake and other lakes nearby.