Raksha Bandhan Festival ? Rakhi or Raksha bandhan festival is one of the most important festivals of India and celebrated with lots of jubilance by Hindus. Raksha bandhan festival is associated with the very special relationship between brothers and sisters, on this day sisters tie a rakhi or decorative thread on the wrist of their brothers and in return brothers pledges to protect their sisters when the need arises. Marked by rakhi tying and traditional pooja ceremony, the festival of Raksha bandhan in India reinforces the protective bond and firms the loving fraternal relationship between brother & sister. Sisters wait throughout the year for this special day that lets them to express their unconditional feelings of affection and care to their brothers.
When is Raksha Bandhan?
The festival of Rakhi in India is celebrated every year on the full Moon Day of Shraavana (July-August) Month. As Rakhi festival is celebrated according to the Indian calendar, hence the month of the English calendar changes every year. Check out the following dates of Rakshabandhan in coming few years:
Raksha Bandhan in 2009 is on Wednesday, the 5th of August.
Raksha Bandhan in 2010 is on Tuesday, the 24th of August.
What is Rakhi Ceremony?
Rakhi festival in India that symbolizes the sweet bonding between brothers and sisters is a very significant occasion and is awaited with great zeal. To celebrate the Raksha bandhan festival, the preparations start well in advance. The families and the markets as well starts making their best efforts to make the joyous festivities of Rakshabandhan so special. On the festive day everyone gets ready very early to celebrate the occasion. After praying to God, the sisters perform the aarti of their brothers and put 'tika' and 'chawal' on their forehead, praying for their well being. Sisters tie a Rakhi thread on the wrist of brother and brothers pledges to take care of her, in any condition. On this festive occasion gifts are exchanged and special Rakhi Recipes like Ghevar, Vermicelli Kheer, Malpua, Kesar Burfi, Pista Sandesh & Rava Laddoo are prepared.
What is Raksha Bandhan?
Raksha Bandhan is all about ‘bond of love and protection'. ‘Raksha' means protection, ‘bandhan' means obliged or bind. Thus the Rakhi Festival flourishes the love, care, affection and the sacred feeling of brotherhood.
Rakhi Celebrations in India
Rakhi is celebrated in different parts of India in different ways but the significance remains the same.
» Rakhi in India (West):
In the Western Region, the festival is known as Nariyal Purnima and as a ritual coconuts are thrown into the sea on this day. The festival marks the beginning of the fishing season.
» Rakhi in India (South):
In South India, this festival is called Avani Avittam. It is an important day for the Brahmins where they first take a holy bath and then change their holy thread (Janeyu) chanting the mantras. They take a vow to perform their duties as prescribed in the holy books and adopt a good conduct and dignity.
» Rakhi in India (North):
In North India, Rakhi Purnima is also called Kajri Purnima or Kajri Navami, when wheat or barley is sown. Goddess Bhagwati is worshiped and farmers seek her blessings for a good crop.
» Rakhi in India (East):
The great Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore initiated the 'Rakhi Utsava' (Rakhi tying ceremony) in Shanti Niketan to maintain universal brotherhood long back in 1905 at the time of Bengal Partition. But the custom is continued till date by the students of the Shanti-Niketan.
Importance of Raksha Bandhan Festival
India is the land of fairs and festivals, and togetherness of relationships is the main essence of festive celebrations. Rakhi festival is also a celebration of such relationship between sisters and brothers. The rakhi tying ceremony has become an integral part of the Indian families and brothers and sisters, in any condition, try to reach out to each other on this day that binds the entire family in an emotional bond. Although, Rakhi is a bond of care and affection between brother & sister but it goes way beyond it. Rakhi also signifies the peaceful co-existence of every individual, promotes the feeling of unity and encourage the harmonious social life.
Different Types of Rakhi Threads
Keeping up with time, the Rakhi Thread has become more fashionable and trendy. It flaunts the amalgamation of tradition and modern lifestyle of people. Modern rakhi is available in different shapes, sizes and materials. It can even be made of gold attached with diamonds. In the Indian market, few interesting varieties of rakhi are as the following:
Cartoon Rakhi, Toy Rakhi
Currency Note/Coin Rakhi
Gold-Silver coated Rakhi
Divine Rakhi - Ram Rakhi, Shree-Om Rakhi
Different Rakhi Thalis
The beautifully decorated Rakhi Thali gives an impression of your love and care for your brother. The thali contains one diya, tika or roli, rice, beatle leaves, rakhi thread, flowers and incense sticks. The thali is either of silver, brass or simply of steel. Sweets sometimes add to the decor of the thali. Few types of Rakhi Thali are cited below:
Sweets Rakhi Thali
The History of Raksha Bandhan FestivalThe Tale of Lord Bali and Goddess Laxmi
The king of devils Bali was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu. One day Bali approached to Lord Vishnu for safeguarding his kingdom. Lord Vishnu took this task and decided to leave his heavenly home, but Goddess Laxmi wanted his husband not to leave his home. She reached to the house of Bali as a camouflaged Brahmin woman and asked for shelter.
On Shravan Purnima day Laxmi Ji tied a sacred thread on the wrist of King Bali and revealed her purpose for being there. Touched by the concern of Laxmi Ji towards her family, King Bali requested Lord Vishnu to live with her.
Therefore the Rakhi festival is also called 'Baleva' that means the devotion of King Bali to Lord Vishnu.
A Mahabharata Tale
Before the battle of Mahabharata, Lord Krishna told Yudhisthir, elder Pandava brother, to perform rakhi ceremony which would act as a shield for him and his army. Draupadi, wife of the Pandavas, tied a thread on Lord Krishna's wrist, seeking his blessings for her husbands.
King Porus and Alexandar's wife
Another rakhi tale comes from the battle between Alexander the Greek king, and Porus, the Hindu king. Wife of Alexander sent a sacred thread to Porus, asking him not to harm her husband in battle. In accordance with Hindu traditions, Porus gave full respect to rakhi. In the battlefield, when Porus was about to deliver a final blow on Alexander, he saw the rakhi on his hand and restrained himself from attacking Alexander personally.
Ways of Sending Rakhis?
Rakshabandhan festival is all about love, care and righteousness. Tying of a frail Rakhi thread- that is considered more stronger than iron chains-has been the tradition of this festival since the time immemorial. Even today the customs and traditions are the same but the way of celebrating the Rakhi festival has been changed. Different ways are used to express the emotions attached with the relationship.
has been the most traditional method to get in touch with the relatives. Sisters unable to meet their brothers send their Rakhis by post. Every year the postal department makes special arrangement to send Rakhis all over. INTERNET & E-COMMERCE
has changed the way of sending Rakhis. Being very fast and reliable sending Rakhis via net is so much in use. With the time changing sending E-mails & ONLINE RAKHI GREEITING CARDS
are considered fast and inexpensive way of celebrating the festival. The modern celebrations of Rakhi festival has also included the way of sending the gifts ONLINE
. Sisters and brothers use this facility to select & send gifts online to far off places, from the comfort of home or net cafe.