Raksha Bandhan and Janai Purnima Festival

Raksha Bandhan and Janai Purnima Festival

Raksha Bandhan is a festival that is celebrated on the full moon day in the month of Shrawan. It is the celebration of the unsaid promise that every brother makes to his sister, to stand by her and protect her through all the hurdles of life, as a return of the “rakhi” which the sister ties on their brother’s wrist to protect them from all evils. Within the rakhi resides the sacred promise to cherish the good times and fight against all odds with togetherness. It’s a day to remember the sweet little moments of childhood when the world was nothing but a large playground to foster dreams together.

In the past, it was a festival celebrated by siblings exclusive to hindus in south asia, but in modern day where the entire world is a global village, the festival is celebrated by anyone who cherishes its true values regardless of their relation, country, race and religion.

On the same day, there is another festival celebrated in Nepal. It is called “Janai Purnima” and it is the festival of thread and bondage.The thread is bondage, a bond of holiness and security. According to Hindu tradition, “Brahmins” and “Kshatriya” men have been wearing “Yajnopavita” or “Janai” which is a sacred thread since their “Bratabandha” and change it annually on this day”.

Origin of the Raksha Bandhan festival

While there are many stories about the festival’s origin, the final message and moral given by each one is the great sacred verse of unity, acting as a symbol of life’s advancement and a leading messenger of togetherness.

One of the origin stories of Raksha bandhan dates back in history to Hindu mythology. As per Hindu mythology, in Mahabharata, the great Indian epic, Draupadi, wife of the Pandavas had torn the corner of her sari to prevent Lord Krishna’s wrist from bleeding (he had inadvertently hurt himself). Thus, a bond, that of brother and sister developed between them, and he promised to protect her.

Significance of the festival

As the name suggests, “Raksha” means to protect and “Bandhan” means bond, which gives it the meaning of bond that protects or bond of protection. It brings the siblings close for at least a day every year to strengthen the bond of love between brothers and sisters, and revive the emotional bonding.

Over the years the meaning of this festival has evolved in the most pleasant ways where it’s not just confined to brothers and sisters. Anyone who feels a sense of responsibility towards their near and dear ones celebrates this day with utmost dedication. It is a beautiful way to promote cultural harmony.

Janai purnima festival is celebrated by tying a janai on the wrist from the hands of a pandit (hindu priest). A special dish that should not be missed in this festival is “Kwati” made from soaked and sprouted beans. In Nepali language, Kwati means ‘Kwa:’ which means hot dish, ‘Ti’ means liquid. Nine types of beans compose this exclusively nutritious dish, this day is the day for this dish and taste.The green sprouted beans are cooked and eaten especially as a liquid vegetable and it is also an important flavor of the day. Kwati has its own way of cooking, some cook it as it is and some mix meats and other vegetables to it.

Today, there is a belief that if you eat Kwati, you will get rid of various diseases related to digestion. A special type of Kwati eaten by the Newar community is called “Nwangi”.

Role and importance of technology in the festival

In the modern day, people from one part of the world can easily communicate with people from the opposite side of the world. A person staying in the corner of their room can learn about the culture of another corner of the world, all thanks to technology.

It is very common for people to live in a different city, country or continent from their family, so on the day when the whole family wants to stay together and enjoy the day, distance becomes the greatest obstacle that cannot be overcome. Technology helps to get rid of the obstacle and join the family that are miles apart.

Moreover, in this pandemic where it is very unsafe to physically meet each other, we can still contact our loved ones and wish them well. It has become possible to give them whatever we want without having to step outside of our rooms. With the advancement of technology, it will be more and more convenient to celebrate our festivals and make it known to the whole world.

We at TECH Setu, wish you a very humble Rakhya Bandhan and Kwati Khane Din. May Janai Poornima touch you with the wave of purity. May this ancient culture of the raw thread continue as a symbol of unconditional love, harmony, and protection for all.