Nepal is a multi-lingual, multi-religious and multi-ethnic country. As a result the number of festivals exceeds that of the days of a year. For some foreigners, these festivals are mysterious, colourful and pleasant. Moreover, they have a great deal more about them. They emerge from the depth of the socio-cultural and religious and historical backgrounds. The ceremonies, as a whole, reflect a way of life, unique in its own place. They mirror the value systems established by age long socio-cultural and religious conventions; they bear the impression of the mythical patterns set on the collective mental structure of the people; they strengthen the social and family relations; they show the awe and reverence of the unknown power; they depict the joys and fears of the people. They make it clear how Nepalese people pay homage to every element of nature; they mark the change of season and rejoice sowing seeds and harvesting.
Janai Purnima or Rakshya Bandha is also one of the festival that carries significance in Nepal. Janai Purnima or the sacred thread festival, commencing on the full moon day of August, is the day when annual changing of the sacred Thread, a yellow string worn about the neck and underarm beneath the clothing of higher cast Hindus-Brahmana, the learned priestly class Chetris, originally rulers and warriors.
The wearers observe certain religious rituals and undergo through fasting to make themselves clean and worthy enough to receive the sacred thread. Since, to wear such a thread symbolizes that the person has control over body, mind and speech. On the day or Purnima a family priest comes, chants mantras according to vedic traditions and gives the thread to the wearers. those incapable of being clean according to the Brahaminic valus and woman are not allowed to wear it.
On the same day men, women, and children of every caste- HIndus and Buddhists alike- the sacred yellow thread called Raksha Bandhana, Raksha, meaning protection and Bandhana meaning ‘bond’ about their wrist.
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