Marked by numbers – Janku

 The Newar ceremony of Janku celebrates age, life, and togetherness irrespective of the gender. The term ”janku” can imply different things at different stages of a person’s life and the date for celebrating janku is calculated on the basis of the lunar calendar.  

The elderly couple is dressed as bride and bridegroom, dressed lavishly and paraded around the city in chariots visiting different temples.

The first Janku is performed when a person turns 77 years, 7 months and 7 days old, second is performed at the age of 83 years, 4 months and 4 days, third at 88 years, 8 months and 8 days, fourth at 99 years, 9 months, 9 days and the last one when a person lives to see 105 years, 8 months and 8 days. The particular ages for the ceremonies mark inauspicious times in a person’s life, times when even the smallest hurdle might pose a serious threat to one’s life.

Reaching 77 and beyond equals someone getting a new life and hence as a senior of the community, one is worshipped as a living god (or goddess) after their second Janku.


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