Raksha Bandhan is one of the most auspicious festivals celebrated in India. Raksha Bandhan is a popular, Hindu cultural festival that is celebrated by every brother & sisters of India. The sister ties a rakhi – a colourful thread, an amulet to brother’s wrist & the brother gifts his sister.
The word Raksha means protecting & caring for his sister for a lifetime. Raksha Bandhan is usually celebrated on the last day of Shravan Month. The Shravan month in the Hindu month of August. Raksha Bandhan festival has different names in different places such as Saluno, Rakri, Silono & many more.
In urban cities as well as rural areas, Raksha Bandhan is celebrated within nuclear families & along with relatives. This festival has gained popularity among Indians due to its unique culture. Brothers who stay away from their sisters send gifts to their sisters whereas sisters send “rakhi” to their brother.
Why is Raksha Bandhan Celebrated?
According to Indian mythology, it is said that on every Shravana Purnima Tithi or day, Yamuna used to tie Rakhi on Yama’s wrist. Yama is known as God of Wrist. Yama was very impressed & from that day, Raksha Bandhan is celebrated to date.
According to another mythological story, Indrani used to tie Rakhi to his beloved brother Lord Indra in those olden days. So, every sister is considered Indrani & every brother is considered Lord Indra and this festival is celebrated.
The Rakhi festival is celebrated solely to grow love, care, protection & bonding between brothers and sisters. That is why this festival is also known as “Bond of Protection.” The relation between a brother and a sister is very strong. They may fight, but actually, it is called a sweet little fight which makes the bond stronger. This festival of Raksha Bandhan strengthens their relationship & develops eternal bonding.
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Protecting sisters is a vital duty of every brother. It is not only the duty of a brother to protect his sister, but it is all of us who are living in the society, should protect girls and women of our society.
Some families celebrate the Raksha Bandhan festival publicly. In local languages, we call it “Samuh Raksha Bandha” where all the sisters of a family come together with their brothers & family members & tie Rakhis on their brothers’ wrist. Sometimes, it is also celebrated in schools.
The Rakhi symbolizes ‘protection’. Brothers promise to protect their sisters from tortures of society such as domestic violence, sexual harassment & other evil activities for the whole life. In some places, people also tie ‘Rakhis’ to trees to spread awareness to protect our nature. Some women also tie rakhi to police and army men to show their respect towards them who protect our society by risking their lives.
How is RAKSHA BANDHAN celebrated?
The festival of Rakhi signifies the strong emotional bond between the brother and sisters. On this day, brothers promise their beloved sister to take care of them for the lifetime. Indian markets are full of colourful Rakhis as well as steel, gold and other types of newly designed Rakhis.
Sisters keep fasts for her beloved brother till she ties her the holy ‘Rakhi’. The brother gifts his sister beautiful gifts which is a major attraction of this festival. Sisters send ‘rakhis’ to brothers living far away via posts and design special greeting cards for their brothers with special Rakhi messages or poems that really melt every heart.
This festival strengthens their love. Sisters cook special dishes for their brothers such as shrikhand, basundi, kheer, gulab jamun, rasgulla, jalebi, etc.
Sister also makes rangolis at the veranda of the house to welcome her brother. She wears new clothes, decorates the house with lights & Toran. She decorates the Aarti plate with diyas, kumkum, rice, Rakhi, Kaju Katli (an Indian sweet) & sugar cubes. Sister also applies Mehndi on her hands & prepares food for her brother. While tying a Rakhi, the sister wears a dupatta (colourful cloth) on her head. This symbolizes immense love & respect for a brother by his sister.
Digitalization in RAKSHA BANDHAN
Brothers and sisters who live far away from each other may be out of the country, traditionally celebrated Rakhi festival by sisters sending Rakhis to their brothers via post. Brothers eagerly waited for the Rakhis. But in the last few years, it has gone digital. Now people also celebrate this festival via WhatsApp video calling or FaceTime or various other applications.
This festival gives a social message to protect & respect all the girls – like our sister, which is a major requirement of the society in the present world where a lot of things are taking place against the girls.