Janai Purnima (Kwati Punhi) 2007

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The season of festival begins and today, August 28 2007, is Janai Purnima. Janai Purnima is the day when most of the Hindus change the janai. Janai is the sacred thread the men wear on their chests. Today is the full moon day and flocks of Brahmins (Hindu priests) can be seen at the holy river banks taking ritual dips in the river and offering ablution to the gods. As a ritual, they then change their holy threads and also tie yellow sacred threads around the wrists of the faithful.

name for this festival iThis day is also important for the Newars of the Kathmandu Valley. Then Newari is Gunhi Punhi. Most of the Newari festivals have special foods to offer. Looking back at the festivals they celebrate, it is not so hard to find out that they celebrate every festival according the foods they produce. All the friends and families gathered around together and offer servings of the foods provided in different season in and they have different festivals for different foods they have. Likewise, the special menu for Gunhi Punhi is Kwati. Hence the day is also called Kwati Punhi, where Kwati is a soup of different beans and Punhi means the full moon day. Lots of Newars do put the yellow sacred threads around the wrists which are to be taken off on the day of Laxmi Puja, another festival in Tihar, about two months after this festival.

In Patan, a richly decorated lingam, the phallic symbol of Lord Shiva, is placed in the middle of the Kumbheswar (Kwonti) pond. This place is located at one of the most popular places in Patan, called Bangalamukhi. It is believed that the pond is to be filled with the water from the holy lake Gosainkunda Lake. There is a well-like place situated there where the people believe that the water comes from the Goshainkunda Lake itself. This day, they have all the water collected in a pond situated nearby the well-like place. In Bhaktapur, a colorful procession known as Jujuya Ghintang-ghishi, a type of king's carnival goes around town in the evening.

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