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Janai Purnima & Gai Jatra


31 AUGUST 2023


00:00 AM

When is Janai Purnima & Gai Jatra ?     

Janai Purnima is celebrated throughout the country in either August or September. Likewise, the festival referred to as 'Gai Jatra', which translates to the 'festival of cows', is also celebrated nationwide during this period.


Traditions of Janai Purnima

On the occasion of Janai Purnima, the tagadharis or those who wear the ‘Janai’ (the sacred thread) around their bodies from the left shoulder to right change the sacred thread today after having a haircut and a bath. According to the time-honored tradition, Hindu people receive the ‘Raksha Bandhan’ thread, which is tied around the wrist as an amulet.

The occasion is also observed as ‘Kwanti Purnima’ by the Newar community. Kwanti, a soup prepared from nine different beans, is a special delicacy added to the Nepali menu on that day.

In the Tarai region, there is a tradition in which sisters tie an attractive ‘Rakhi’ around the wrist of their brothers wishing them long life and prosperity.


Traditions of  Gai Jatra

The traditional festival of Gaijatra or the cow festival is also observed in three cities of the Kathmandu Valley and some other places in the country amid various entertainment programs, fun, humor and satire.

During this time-honored tradition, people of all ages in the guise of cows and lunatics go around the city, wearing odd costumes to commemorate those who died during the past one year. The bereaved families offer fruits, bread, beaten rice, curd and money to those participating in the procession including the cows.

This festival is believed to have started during the time of King Pratap Malla, who, in a bid to console his queen, much grieved at the death of her son in a smallpox epidemic, ordered his people to organise humor and satire programmes in various comic postures.

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