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Janai Purnima today

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KATHMANDU — The annual Janai Purnima, also known as the Raksha Bandhan festival, being observed across the country today.

On the occasion, especially Hindu Brahmins and Chhetris who have undergone the ritual of Bratabandha change their Janai (cotton string worn diagonally from the left shoulder to the right waist) and also tie the Raksha Bandhan around the wrist of the right hand.

The tagadharis or those who wear the ‘Janai’ change the sacred thread today after having a haircut and a bath on the occasion of ‘Janai Purnima’, also known as ‘Rishi Tarpani’.

The yellow thread is purified through the chanting of mantras by Brahmin priests as a symbol of protection from fear and disease.

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

People believe that the use of the sacred thread will bring them good luck. It is also believed that the Raksha Bandhan should be removed only on the day of Laxmi Puja during Tihar.

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

Today, thousands of devotees worship Lord Shiva at Pashupatinath in Kathmandu and at Kumbheswar in Lalitpur and other Shiva temples across the country and take holy dips in ponds and lakes and rivers.

Religious fairs are held at Gosainkunda, an alpine area in Rasuwa District, and at Dansanghu, Triveni in Jumla district to observe the festival with offerings of worship to Lord Shiva. A big religious fair also takes place at the Gosainkunda Lake and pilgrims come from faraway places to take a holy dip in this lake and other lakes nearby.

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President extends good wishes on occasion of Maghe Sankranti

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KATHMANDU— President Bidya Devi Bhandari has extended happiness, peace and prosperity to all Nepali sisters and brother at home and abroad on the occasion of the Maghi or Maghe Sankranti.

In a message issued from the Secretariat of the President, President Bhandari has expressed her confidence that this festival would strengthen social unity by promoting mutual understanding among different castes and communities of our society.

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Our festivals have contributed a lot to maintain our Nepali identity by linking geographic, cultural, ethnic and lingual diversities and such festivals have played vital role to make our country known in the global stage, President Bhandari has said in the message.

In a similar message, Vice-president Nanda Bahadur Pun has said that such festival enhance mutual harmony, tolerance, fraternity and unity among the Nepalis and contribute to conservation and promotion of our indigenous culture.

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