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Janai Purnima & Gai Jatra

admin August 16th, 2008

Janai Purnima & Gai JatraJanai Purnima
August 16, 2008 - Janai Purnima
Janai purnima, the full moon day in August every year, the day that our priests tie the sacred rakshya around our wrist is known as Sacred Thread Festival. On this day Hindu men, especially the Brahmans and Chettris perform their annual change of Janai. According to Hindu rules the cord must be changed without fail by a Brahman on this day.

On Janai Purnima, there is a big mela (religious fair) at Kumbeshwor lake in Lalitpur. Devotees come here to worship Lord Mahadev and to tie a knot around their wrists.

A legend in Nepal says that long ago a devotee, while bathing in Goshaikund lake, dropped his brass in water. Sometime later, it miraculously appeared in Kumbeshwar Pond in Patan. People believe that the vessel made its way from the mountain lake through some underground river into Kumbeshwar Pond, a belief given further support by the fact that the water of the Patan Pond remains abnormally cold throughout the year. On Janai Purnima day thousands of devotees, unable to make the long mountain trek to Gosaikund, are content to bathe at Kumbeshwar.

This ospicious day is also know as Raksha Bandhan as Raksha (eternal protection) is tied round the wrist, the same which bound the arm of the mighty Bali, King of the Danavas.

Gai JatraAugust 17, 2008- Gai Jatra
The festival of “Gai Jatra”, the procession of cows, is celebrated in the Nepali month of Bhadra (August-September) on the next day of Janai Purnima. This festival of cows is one of the most popular festivals of Kathmandu valley.

According to the traditions, every family who has lost a relative during that past year participates in a procession through the streets leading a cow. If a cow is unavailable, a young boy dressed as a cow is substituted.

According to the legend in Nepal, at the time when King Pratap Malla lost his son, his wife remained dumbstruck. The king was depressed to see the condition of his beloved. He tried all the possible ways to bring back the smile in the queen but wasn’t successful. Later he announced that anyone who could make the queen laugh would be rewarded adequately. Then there was Gai Jatra where the cow procession was brought before the sadned queen. The participants began fooling and shattering the high-profile people of the society, social injustice and other evils mercilessly. Seeing and hearing all those comedy the queen could not stop laughing and so from then king Pratap Malla started the tradition to have this event of Gai Jatra every year.

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