Janai Poornima

A festival to change the sacred thread with the worship of Lord Shiva. Janai Poornima is the day when Hindus change the janai, the sacred thread the men wear on their chests. This full moon day sees flocks of Brahmina (Hindu priests) at the holy riverbanks. They take ritual dips in the water and offer ablution to the gods. They then change their sacred threads and also tie yellow sacred threads around the wrists of the faithful. Newars of the Kathmandu valley call this festival Gunhi Punhi, a soup of different sprouted beans known as kwati, is prepared as the special menu of the day. At Kumbheswar in Patan, a richly deocrated Lingam, the phallic symbol of Lord Shiva, is placed on a raised platform in the middle of the Kumbheswar (Knownti) pond to receive homage from devotees. Another ceremony that takes place here is Byan-ja Nakegu, in which rice is offered to frogs in gratitude for a good rain. In Bhaktapur, as a prelude to Saparu the next day, a Jujuya Ghintan-ghishi (king’s carnival) goes around town. The participants dress in outlandish costumes and gambol to the tune of traditional music.

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