Janai Purnima | Kwati Purnima | Raksha Bandhan is a Hindu festival observed in the full-moon day according to Nepalese calendar in the month of Shrawan. According to the English calendar, the festival lies between the end of July and early August.
The local Newars of Kathmandu valley called as ‘Gunhi Punhi’. In another word, local Newar called this day as ‘Kwati Purnima’. The festival is celebrated before a day of another Kathmandu Valley’s wonderful festival “Gai-Jatra- Cow Festival” which is also called Saparu according to Newari Language.
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MEANING OF JANAI
Janai is a sacred thread that is made up of cotton which is put on around their waist. Janai is put on only by male Brahmins in Nepal. Janai wearing activities are performed in the ancient holy places such as kumbeshwar in Patan, Gosaikunda in Langtang and Charikot in Dholkha. Some other people in different places perform this ritual hear riverbanks. They take bath, dips into the water and offer ablutions to the god and change their thread from their priest.
Kwati Purnima is also known as Gunhi Punhi by Newari people living in Kathmandu valley (Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, and Lalitpur). Newar culture always has a fancy style on celebrating their festival with joys and excitement. And also another speciality of Newari people following the festival is the preparation of traditional foods found in their place. The Kwati is a Newari style soup made up of the mixtures of varieties beans. Some Newari people also called it ‘Kwati Punhi’. Punhi means ‘Purnima’ in Nepali which means ‘a full moon day’.
Newari farmers in Kathmandu valley celebrate this festival by worshipping frog. It is believed that worshipping the frog should be performed because frogs are treated as the agent of the god of rainfall. And worshipping helps farmers to increase their productivity of the crops.
Raksha Bandhan is a Sanskrit two words Raksha means ‘Protect’ in English and Bandhan means the ‘Bond’. People wear a sacred thread tied in hand believing that they would be protected from evil powers and also believed that tying the thread brings luck their life. Rakshya Bandhan is worn by Women, Men or kids in Nepal from the hand of the priest. The activities are performed going to the riverbank and offer thread from their priest.
Janai Purnima, (2020). Janai Purnima, from Welcome Nepal. Retrieved From: https://www.welcomenepal.com/whats-on/janai-purnima.html
Here’s how Nepali are celebrating Janai Purnima, (2019). From: Kathmandu Post. Retrieved from: https://kathmandupost.com/visual-stories/2019/08/15/here-s-how-nepalis-are-celebrating-janai-purnima
Thapa, S. (n d). Kwati Purnima: A Newari Festivals for Beans. from: Rising Junkiri. Retrieved from: https://risingjunkiri.com/kwati-purnima-newari-festival-for-beans/