Raksha Bandhan festival of Nepal is an annual festival occurring on the auspicious day of Shrawan Shukla Purnima. The full moon day is marked as a day of changing threads, preparing lentil soups, feeding frogs and celebrating family bonds - depending on the culture one’s brought up in. In auspicious Raksha Bandhan festival, temples glamour up to life as hymns of mantras melodiously make their way out of priests mouth to protect people. The colors decorate the gods and people.
The forehead gets an extra charm during this period of the year as a radiant Tika lightens up peoples faces. People cleanse themselves to get protected and mark the entry to period of festivity.
Hilly Hindu brahmin and Chhetris and Newar brahmin along with some other Hindu Newar engage in a ritualistic bath for changing a Janai or Jwona(in Nepal Bhasa language). It is because of this practice, the festival of Raksha Bandhan in Nepal is called Janai purnima. Alternatively known as Taga, the bearers of Janai or Taga are called Tagadharais and they receive the Taga after a ceremony called Bratabandha or Brataman. The reception and use of Taga signifies the child is a man and he practices religion on a regular basis.
Other devout Hindus practicing the religion get Doro from priests as means to be protected from spirits, negative energy, mishaps or accidents. Doro(a bracelet of cotton thread) is a colorful sacred thread energized by mantra recitation, rituals and holy colors through invocation of god Bali. Furthermore, the Doro worn on the left by ladies and on the right by men is believed to turn the wishes of the believers come true. The practice of Doro originates from the folklore of goddess Laxmi tying thread on demon King Bali’s hand to save Lord Vishnu from him.
Thus, the festival is called Raksha Bandhan. While people in Nepal’s hill tie Doro for this reason, Madeshi people in Rerai region of Nepal and populous of India tie Rakhi to their brother and sister for protection. Brother and sister feed each other sweet food, sister prepares a gift for her brother and brother gifts some money in exchange after tying Rakhi to each other. The Raksha Bandhan is believed to protect the brothers from harm as foretold in the lord Vishnu’s tale a moment ago.
The auspicious Raksha Bandhan Festival happens to be the same day when Newar community celebrates two other festival. The Gunu Punhi or Kwati Punhi lies on this day during which falls on late July to early August. Newars famed for their delectable, eye pleasing and awesome food, prepare a thick lentil soup of sprouted beans left to sprout a few days before festival of Raksha Bandhan in Nepal happens. The Kwati soup are made from nine beans or gun(pronounced Goom) in the tenth month Gunla: - naming the festival Gunu Punhi or Kwati Punhi.
The nine bean soup is locally believed to provide strength and necessary nutrients. Kwati when broken into separate word becomes Kwa and Ti, where Kwa means hot and Ti means liquid. Likewise, Newars also celebrate another festival which originates from the roots of nature worshiping practices commonly found in Nepal. The Byan: ja: Nakegu festival coincides with Raksha Bandhan festival of Nepal. The Newars were a farming community for long and rain played important part in their lives, the marshland frogs cries was believed to be message to rain god Indra.
In order to thank frogs colloquially known as Byan: in local language, people fed them rice once in a year. Locals prepare leaf articles and place rice, beans and other foods on it, leave it in open fields
On your trip with Nepabooking to Nepal, you should come experience, the deep meaning hidden in the strings of Doro, process of changing Janai, beauty of simmering Kwati over low heat, and gifting back to nature. The auspicious Raksha Bandhan festival seeks to impart array of different values listed below:
● Bathing for cleansing body and soul, cutting off nails, shaving hair and changing Taga or Janai imparts the importance of cleanliness and hygiene.
● The tradition of using Taga and tying Doro reminds one the importance of religion and reminds a person of his roots.
● Giving some money in return to priests for tying Doro - teaches an individual importance of charity.
● Eating Kwati during cold monsoon shower reminds people to eat beans which provide good health and nutrition.
● Further sprouting beans for Kwati teaches kids the basic of farming, which is sowing seeds.
● Bya: ja: Nakeygu: connects people with nature and importance of the eco system.
Moving across borders and breaking barriers is the real essence of travelling. The travelers can come get a Doro on their arms and connect to devotion of people celebrating Raksha Bandhan Festival of Nepal. Get spell bound by people cleansing their souls with dip in banks of water sources revered as god in these part of world. The prayer offered to water bodies, ones wearable, frogs, threads and more teaches the value of every simple things in life and reconnects him or her to the divine. Come be part of this amazing festival on your trip with Nepabooking.