Gunhi Punhi ( Janai Purnima)

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“Kwati khane din”, this is what the Bhaktapurians call to the day of Gunhi Punhi or Janai Purnima. Every household, that day fills with this lavishing dish, called Kwati. It is more likely a soup, fragmented with the nine different types of beans. That includes ingredients like black gram, green gram, chickpea, field bean, soybean, field pea, garden pea, cowpea, and rice bean.

Newar people celebrate this day as gunhi punhi. Because it is observed within the ninth month (gunla) as well as on the full moon day, of Nepal era lunar calendar. Right after the Nag Panchami and a day before the Gai Jatra. On the same day, the farmers show their gratitude towards frogs. For being kind to them and spell rain for their farming. They offer rice and kwati to the frogs. Somewhere in the folklore, it is also heard that the farmers worship them for unintentionally killing them during their farming work.

Gosaikunda and Gunhi Punhi

Besides, people from all over Nepal and India prefer to go to Gosaikunda during Janai Purnima. Though it is not a one-day hiking trail and destination, people targets to reach there on the same date as in Janai Purnima. After 3-4 days of trekking. This 4,380m altitude ranging lake is probably the holiest lake of Nepal.

Even within the valley, the newa people have a trend to go there during Gunhi Punhi. They call it Silu Tirtha Yatra. Since they call the Gosaikunda as Silu.  It seems quite an important destination for those travelers. Meanwhile, Gosaikunda meant as one of the most divine lakes in Nepal. As per the religious belief, the lord shiva created it when he suffered from the poisonous kalakut Vish ( Poison). To cool down his throat pain and burning, he thus stabbed his Trishul to one of the hills and created the lake.

During the Samundramanthana, except him, no one could even bear to smell that poison. Ultimately, to save the world from that poisonous environment, he swallowed it and hold it in his throat. As for the effect, his throat became all off of the blue colors. That’s why he is thereafter also started to called as Nilkantha. (Nilkantha means the blue colored throat.)

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