Janai Purnima is a sacred festival in Nepal which is observed on the full moon day of the month of Shrawan. But this year, since there is an eclipse on the full moon day, the festival of Janai Purnima was preponed to “panchami” – the same day as Naag Panchami which is another sacred festival which is dedicated to offering prayers to snakes.
On the day of Janai Purnima, Nepalese of the Brahmin community change their sacred thread (janai) which they usually wear across their upper body. People also wear the sacred thread around their wrists this day which is believed to protect oneself from harm and bad omens while bringing in luck. People then take this sacred thread off on the day of Laxmi Puja during Tihar (Deepawali) and tie it around the tail of a cow and worship it. By doing this, people believe that after their death, they can easily cross the river to heaven by grabbing on to the tail of the cow.
Having heard that lots of interesting things happen in the Kumbeshwar Mahadev temple in the premises of Banglamukhi temple, I decided to visit the place in the morning at around 9. Once I reached there I could see nothing interesting going on except for the regular scenes where “pujaris” (holy men) were tying the sacred thread around people’s wrist and Brahmin men changing their janai.
Being hugely disappointed, I started taking some photos and returned home. Are our traditions really becoming endangered?