Posted on Aug 2, 2012 by TravelNews under Culture and Festival

Tags: JANAI PURNIMA, Josaikunda

The "Tagadhari" or those who wear the "Janai" (sacred thread) around their bodies change the sacred thread today after having a haircut and a bath on the occasion of "Janai Purnima," also known as "Rishi Tarpani".This festival observed by the Hindus, especially of the Shaiva sect, 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 at bay.In the Terai region, there is a tradition in which sisters tie an attractive "Rakhi" around the wrists of their brothers wishing them long life and prosperity.Today, thousands of devotees worship lord Shiva at Pashupatinath in Kathmandu and at Kumbheswor in Lalitpur and take holy dips in ponds and lakes.Religious fairs are held at Gosaikund, an alpine area in Rasuwa District, and at Dansanghu, Triveni in Jumla District to observe the festival with offerings of worship to Lord Shiva.A big religious fair takes place at the Gosaikund Lake and pilgrims come from faraway places to take a holy dip in this lake and other lakes nearby.

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