Janai Purnima (Raksha Bandhan) celebrated in Nepal today.
Kathmandu: Janai Purnima is one of the biggest festival of Nepal which comes every year in the month of Bhadra or in August. The janai purnima name itself suggests that it falls on full moon day. The festival is also called “sharawan purnima”.
Janai Purnima and Raksha Bandhan are one and the same but culturally it becomes different because in Nepal, Nepalese people change their janai with the help of Brahmins but in India culture, the sister ties a rakhi in their brothers arm. Both of them signifies the same thing, both modus operandi is different but the essence is for the protection.
The locals of Nepal in Janai Purnima can be observed cooking “KWATI” or the sprouts of nine different legumes. The people cook the kwati and drink its soup.
As per Anil Kayastha, one of the local legumes seller that I had spoken to in the valley, he said that consuming today is a symbolic act. Consuming kwati today means the successful harvest and successful reaping of seeds. It also means that the harvest has concluded well and the farmers have abundace of legumes for the upcoming winter.
In the valley, right after “Nag Panchami”, the locals believe that the monsoon will now slowly halt and after the Tihar and Chhat festival, winter starts. Janai Purnima in a way symbolizes the peaceful transition from monsoon to spring.