RELIGION

Nepali Hindus Celebrate Sacred Thread Festival

The sacred thread is a symbol of protection.

27/08/2016 1:50 AM IST | Updated 27/08/2016 1:50 AM IST
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The Janai Purnima, or sacred thread festival, is an important moment in the year for Hindus in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Hindu devotees in the region have a tradition of wearing a sacred thread, known as a Janai. The cotton cord is worn diagonally across the torso.

On August 18, Hindu priests gathered at the Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu to cleanse themselves during ritual baths and to change their Janai.

Elsewhere in Kathmandu Valley, lay people took dips in holy ponds and lakes and received Rakshya Bandhan threads from Hindu priests. The yellow threads are tied around the wrists and are a symbol of protection. 

Scroll down to see images from this sacred festival. 

  • Navesh Chitrakar / Reuters
    A Hindu priest wearing a sacred thread performs a ritual during the Janai Purnima festival (Sacred Thread Festival) at Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu, Nepal, August 18, 2016. 
  • Navesh Chitrakar / Reuters
    A Hindu priest holds a sacred thread during the Janai Purnima (Sacred Thread) Festival.
  • Navesh Chitrakar / Reuters
    A Hindu priest (R) offers a new sacred thread to a devotee.
  • Navesh Chitrakar / Reuters
    A hand of a devotee holding a sacred thread is pictured.
  • Navesh Chitrakar / Reuters
    Hindus take holy baths and change their sacred thread, also known as Janai, for protection and purification, during the festival. 
  • Navesh Chitrakar / Reuters
    A Hindu priest's forehead is covered with "tika", coloured powder and rice used as a blessing.
  • Navesh Chitrakar / Reuters
    Young Hindu priests take a holy bath together as part of a ritual.
  • Navesh Chitrakar / Reuters
    A Hindu priest takes a holy bath as part of a ritual during the Janai Purnima festival.
  • Navesh Chitrakar / Reuters
    Hindu priests perform a ritual.
  • Navesh Chitrakar / Reuters
    Young Hindu priests wearing sacred threads performs a ritual.
  • NurPhoto via Getty Images
    Nepalese Hindu devotees arranging sacred thread during Janai Purnima festival.
  • PRAKASH MATHEMA via Getty Images
    A Nepalese Hindu Brahmin Priest holds Janai or sacred thread as he waits for devotees on the occasion of the Janai Purnima Festival, also known as Rakshya Bandhan.
  • Xinhua News Agency via Getty Images
    Janai Purnima, also known as the festival of threads, is one of the most religiously significant celebrations of Nepal.
  • Pacific Press via Getty Images
    A Hindu priest ties a sacred thread in devotee's hand at the bank of Pashpatinath temple on occasion of Janai Purnima festival.
  • Pacific Press via Getty Images
    A young man offer prayers after changing Janai, a sacred thread at the bank of Pashpatinath temple on occasion of Janai Purnima festival.
  • NurPhoto via Getty Images
    Nepalese Hindu tantric priest playing traditional drums and dancing during Janai Purnima festival or Rakchhya Bandhan at Patan, Nepal August 18, 2016.
  • NurPhoto via Getty Images
    Nepalese Hindu devotees takes a selfie after a holy bath.
  • NurPhoto via Getty Images
    Nepalese kids from Hindu school Bhagwat Sanyaas Aashram Gurukul performing ritual offering.
  • NurPhoto via Getty Images
    A smiling portrait of a Nepalese Hindu youth from Bhagwat Sanyaas Aashram Gurukul.
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