Threads of protection


Janai Purnima is the day when people tie a sacred yellow thread around their wrists. Men tie it on their right hand, while women on their left.

According to legend, King Bali, the king of Danavas (demons), was successful in defeating the gods who ruled all the three worlds as he had worn a rakshya bandhan around

his wrist.

Tradition has it that on the day of Laxmi puja, one should tie this thread to a cow’s tail.

This will ensure that when the person dies the cow will help him cross river Bhaitarni and lead him to heaven.

A special puja is held at Kumbheshwor temple in Patan, and people worship the Shiva lingam. It is believed that the water in the pond here came from Gosaikunda, so devotees bathe here on Janai Purnima to purify themselves.

Janai Purnima holds a very special importance for Chhetri and Brahmin men. On the day of their Bratabandha, a ritual that signifies a boy’s entry into adulthood, a thread is tied diagonally around their chest, which must be worn everyday. Every year on Janai Purnima, this thread is changed and replaced with a new one.

This day is also important as Rakshya Bandhan (or Rakhi). A sister ties a sacred thread around her brother’s wrist. It is believed that the thread will protect the brother from any harm and bad omen.