Janai Purnima Festival, Raksha Bhandhan Festival in Nepal

  • Last Updated on Mar 2, 2014

Janai Purnima is the festival of sacred thread and it is celebrated on the full moon day of August in the Hindu Kingdom by Hindus.

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Janai Purnima is the festival of sacred thread and it is celebrated on the full moon day of August in the Hindu Kingdom by Hindus. Hindu men, especially the Brahmans and Chhetries perform their annual change of Janai, a yellow cotton string (sacred thread) worn across the chest or tied around the wrist of the right hand after taking a bath in a holy river or pond. This thread is only given to males during a lengthy and impressive religious ceremony called the ‘Bratabandhan’. This cord initiates them into manhood and commands them to follow the religion faithfully. The Janai must be worn every day of their lives from this day onward. The ‘triple cord’ symbolizes body, speech, and mind, and when the knots are tied the wearer is supposed to gain complete control over each. This cord is changed if it becomes frayed or defiled, for example, when the wearer touches a woman in menstruation, during which she is considered ‘unclean’. But according to Hindu rules the cord must be changed without fail by a Brahman on this day, Janai meaning sacred thread, and purni meaning Purnima or the full moon, thus pointing to the change of the thread on the auspicious full moon day.    Also read: What is high altitude sickness?

Raksha Bandhan Festival in Nepal
Raksha Bandhan Festival in Nepal

Celebrating Raksha Bandhan Festival in Nepal on Janai Purnima, there is a big Mela (fair) at Kumbeshwor in Lalitpur. Especially, today lots of Hindu men go to Pashupatinath Temple and the temple around them. Many devotees go to Gosaikund, a sacred pilgrim's place. There is a sacred lake called Gosaikunda lake and people believe that the sin has gone away after taking a bath on that river. Devotees come here to worship Lord Mahadev and to tie a knot around their wrists. Gosaikunda is in the Langtang region which is one of the famous destinations in Nepal for trekking and is known as trekkers' paradise. The people who do 13 days of trekking in Langtang, would get a chance to go and be in this sacred place.

This is also known as Raksha Bandhan. Raksha means ‘protection’ and Bandhan means a bond. The wearer believes that it will bring him good luck. It is believed that this thread should only be removed on Laxmi Puja, which falls three months later and is tied to the tail of a cow. Thus when death comes to the wearer the cow will help him to cross the river Bhaitarna, by allowing the dead to cling to her tail.
Family and relatives have a great time together at this festival and especially today they have a soup made from 9 different kinds of beans. According to Hindu mythology, they believe that having that soup gives power and takes away their tiredness.

Changing holy Janai
Changing holy Janai in the Janai Purnima Festival 


Rajendra Thapa

Rajendra Thapa

"Take only memories, leave only footprints' -Chief Seattle 

Namaste! Greetings from the Himalayas!! I am Rajendra Thapa, a promising and adventurous wanderer and a travel guide from the beautiful country Nepal. Nepal is a country duct between the gorgeous mountains of the gigantic Himalayas and the lost jungles of the Terai and also a home to multicultural people with various traditions. I am passionate about traveling, trekking, hiking, and photography. You can find my travel experiences and blogs on my Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.
I was born in a small countryside full of greenery and fresh air on the lap of Ganesh Himal far from the city chaos. Growing up, I was always interested in exploring things,  places, people, and lifestyles, which developed into my career. Through the company Nepal Gateway Trekking Pvt Ltd. I am serving to share my knowledge, experiences, and guidance regarding various Himalayas base camps, jungles, cultural monuments, historical sculptures, and many more adventurous things to make your lifetime experiences amazing, after all, travel is all about having lifetime experiences with beautiful memories.