Nepali Culture Bratabandha


he ceremony begins with, you guessed it, the boys having their heads shaved except for a tiny tail on top that is tied with rings and sometimes jewels . The boys at the Kumbeshwor Temple were all wrapped in bright orange or yellow garb for rituals that last up to five hours. A priest instructs the boys in the lessons of manhood and gives each his own mantra shrouded in secret . There is much burning of incense, tossing of rice, dousing with vermilion powder and making of offerings.Each boy has a staff, a stick slung with bags of grain to feed him on his journey into manhood, a toy-like bow to protect himself from wild animals and a skin, preferably a deer skin, to sleep on as he journeys through the forest.
The boys take a symbolic journey, walking with their possessions around the ritual offerings laid out in front of them . The beautifully dressed women of the family make offerings of food to the boys to sustain them on their journey. At the end, a cotton string is looped over the boy's shoulder, signifying that he is now a man, even if he is only five

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