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Sunday, May 04, 2008

So, what goes on at Janabahaa?

This is a blog after all, so it is completely acceptable to put up whatever one knows, as long as it is relevant, even though the information is incomplete. Here is a list of events that take place around, or are related to, Janabahaa.

The Rath Jatra is the biggest event of Janbahaa Dyo, that takes place every year in late March or early April. In mid-winter (towards the end of December), the Dhalin Luyegu (bathing) ceremony takes place, after which the statue of Janabahaa Dyo is dried in the sun for the next several days and repainted. The freshly coated statue is finally re-installed in the temple amidst an elaborated Nhawan ceremony.

Thousands of devotees throng to Janabahaa on Ghyo Chaku Sanlhu (also cllaed Maghe Sankranti) which falls in mid-January, to make offerings to Janabahaa Dyo and to the many priests that line the courtyard. A couple of weeks later, a large crowd gathers at Janabhaa on the day of Shri Panchami every year to pay homage to the shrine of Manjushri (also revered as Saraswoti) located within the courtyard. Similarly, In the evening of Sakimila Punhi (November), the ceremony of Halmandi Boyegu takes place at Janabahaa.

A wide variety of Buddhist rituals are conducted in Janabahaa every year, such as Bare Chhuyegu, Satpuja, Dewa Chyakegu, Dhalan, etc. that are not directly related to Janabahaa Dyo but are held within the courtyard in any case. Throughout the holy month of Gunla (August-September), most religious activities are celebrated with fervent gusto, with much bigger crowds participating. Special worship is made to Janabahaa Dyo by Buddhists on one’s birthday. The annual Nam Sangati feast organized at Janabahaa apparently has not been held for the last four years.

Besides the Nitya Puja rituals conducted by the Dyo Palaa of Janabahaa Dyo daily, another activity that takes place every single day at Janabahaa is the morning Bhajan, the origin of which is not known by anyone alive today. Finally, Janabahaa is also the venue for scores of vendors (flower sellers, book sellers, etc.) to make a livelihood by putting up little stalls to sell their wares in the courtyard complex every morning, with devotees conveniently doubling up as their customers.

As mentioned above, this list of events and activities is probably far from complete, and is superficial in description. This is a subject that undoubtedly deserves more organized and scholarly classification and articulation.