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Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Year Triple Bonanza

The 2012 New Year's day coincides with the annual bathing ceremony of Janabahaa Dyo In the evening of January 1, the deity will be brought out from its sanctum in the main temple in the Janabahaa complex and carried to the raised platform in the south-east corner of the courtyard, where the image will be given a shower with holy water, milk and honey after an elaborate tantric ceremony. The bathing water is brought from the holy river known as Bhacha Khushi, located just below Byasah (Bijeshwari) by a group of caretaker priests the day before. From the next day onwards, a week-long process of repainting the deity from head to toe by designated caretaker priests of Janabahaa takes place in the open courtyard, from approximately 10 am to 3 pm every day.

The living goddess Kumari will grace the deity's ritual bath in person. This is one of the thirteen times in the year that the Kumari comes out of her beautiful temple abode in the Kathmandu Durbar Square.

The audio tour of Janabahaa that has been planned for quite some time will also be launched the same day, just before the bathing ceremony.

If you come to Janabahaa at about 4 pm in the afternoon, you will be guaranteed a few hours of festive atmosphere, local music, centuries-old religious tradition and a religiously awakened crowd. If you carry a large camera, you might even be invited to sit on one of the chairs reserved for the press with a good vantage point.

Photos by Alok Tuladhar.

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