Image of Asia: Taking part in the festival of the janai

In this photo by Niranjan Shrestha, a Hindu priest adjusts his hair while performing rituals during Janai Purnima in Kathmandu, Nepal. Hindus participating in the festival cut their hair, nails and beards and take holy baths to cleanse themselves. The festival is held annually on a full moon for believers to change their janai, the sacred cotton string worn around their chest or wrist to protect and purify them. The Himalayan country is mostly Hindu, with Buddhism the main minority religion.

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