Today I learned it was a festival day, which explains the more than usual women I met walking up to Chandeshori Temple this morning.
Rakshya Bandhan is a festival celebrated at full moon during the month of Shrawan (this is a busy month for festivals!).
According to the time-honoured tradition, people receive the ‘Rakshya Bandhan’ thread (doro), which is tied around the wrist as a bracelet. Generally men wear the doro on the right wrist, whilst women wear theirs on their left wrist. The yellow thread is purified through the chanting of mantras by priests and is a symbol of protection from fear and disease. The doro is generally worn until the festival of Diwali in October. That is unless it falls off the wrist on Day 1 like my friend today!
Men can take things a step further and don a sacred thread around their torso over ther left shoulder 0 this is called a janai and is worn year round Celebrating Janai Purnima requires the men to head for the nearest sacred pond, bathe and have a haircut before change the janai for a fresh one for the year ahead.
Kwati soup is a 9-bean very thick soup which is traditionally eaten for breakfast today. Given I am preparing my own breakfasts, I missed out on the pleasure.
Hope everyone had a Happy Janai Purnima / Rakshya Bandhan Day! It’s quite the upbeat festival, so I thought I would treat you to some traditional Nepali music & instruments by the brilliant Kutumba. The piece of music is called Pariwartan.
Incidentally, Buddhists observe today too, in commemoration of the day the Lord Gautama Buddha defeated the evil power of lust. This episode is well-described in the Buddhist scripture ‘Lalitbistar’ so I am told.