Hindus in Nepal and those outside the country are observing the Janaipurnima festival on Sunday.
According to the time-honoured tradition, people receive 'Rakshya Bandhan' thread from priests, which is tied around the wrist as an amulet. The yellow thread is purified through chanting of mantras by Brahmin priests as a symbol of protection from fear and disease.
Since people feast on a special soup made up of sprout beans of nine varieties known as "Kwanti", the day is also popularly celebrated as 'Kwanti Purnima'.
The 'Kulabarna Tantra', a Tantrik scripture, says that the soup is highly nutritious and keeps diseases away.
Hindu males change their ‘janai’ or "yagyopavit", the sacred thread purified by Vedic mantras. ‘Janai’ is the symbol of protection which Hindu males receive after performing the "Upanayan".
On Janai Purnima ritual offerings are made to the "Saptarishis" or the seven sages- Vashiṣṭa, Viśvāmitra, Jamadagni, Gautama, Bharadvāja and Atri.
People in the Terai observe this festival by tying Rakhi, decorated bands, around their brothers’ wrists, symbolising bond of love between sisters and brothers.
Hundreds of pilgrims visit Gosaikunda in Rasuwa and Tribeni in Jumla to take holy bath in a bid to cast away sins, wishing for a healthy and prosperous life.
Devotees throng Pashupatinath, Kumbheswor, Manichud to worship Lord Shiva, and to visit the religious fairs at these temples on the day. Similarly, Pachpokhari in Sindhupalchowk and Janakpurdham in Dhanusha are also specially revered on this occasion.
Newar community observe this day as 'Gunhu Punhi.'
Similarly, the Buddhists observe this day commemorating Lord Gautama Buddha's victory over power of lust. This episode is well-described in the Buddhist scripture 'Lalitbistar'.
The Swayambhunath in Kathmandu is busy with people coming for prayers and to visit the fair that is held on the occassion.