The sacred thread festival
Janai Purnima, 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 person has control over body mind and speech. On the day of 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 Brahminic values and women are not allowed to wear it.
On the same day men, women, and children of every cast, Hindus and Buddhists alike, the sacred yellow thread called Raksha Bandana, Raksha, meaning protection and Bandana meaning ‘bond’ about their wrist.
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This Article and upcoming posts are extracted from the book, TOURIST INFORMATION DIRECTORY, 1997. by my Late Father Journalist, Sociologist & Anthropologists, Er. Ramesh Chandra Bandhu Bhattarai.