What is Raksha Bandhan?
Whenever you think about Raksha Bandhan the images of a sister tying a thread on her brother’s wrist and gorging on scrumptious sweets and delicacies flash before your mind’s eye. But there is much more to Rakhi that all this. Rather, the festival of Raksha Bandhan celebrates the true love between brothers and sisters. Sisters express their love for their brothers by tying a rakhi on their wrist, who, in turn, take a pledge to protect them till the end of their lives. The festival is usually celebrated in the month of August on the full moon day or the Shravan Poornima of the Shravan month of the Hindu lunisolar Nepali calendar. The festival is celebrated in various ways in different states and is known by names such as Rakhi Poornima, Nariyal Poornima and Kajari Poornima.
The term Raksha Bandhan is composed of two different words. While the term ‘Raksha’ means protection, ‘Bandhan’ means to tie. In Sanskrit, this literally means the ‘tie of protection’. Normally, the sister performs a ceremony and then ties a thread across her brother’s wrist. In return, the brother takes a pledge that he would protect her till the end of his life and under all circumstances. The festival not only depicts the bond of love between a brother and his sister, but also reaffirms it further.
It is one of the most auspicious Hindu festivals and its origins lie in antiquity. Mythology says during the war between Gods and demons, Lord Vishnu gave a thread to Indrani, the wife of Lord Indira, to tie around her husband’s wrist. This thread would protect Indira in the war against all perils. The festival also has references in history and the most prominent one is the story about Mughal Emperor, Humayun and Rani Karnavati of Mewar. Rani Karnavati invoked Humayun’s help by sending a rakhi to him during an attack by Bahadur Shah. The Emperor responded and immediately set off with his troops to defend Rani Karnavati’s kingdom. However, by the time he reached there it was too late and all was lost.
How people celebrate Raksha bandhan?
Although the festival of Rakhi is a one day affair; however, preparations for it start days in advance. As the festival approaches the shops and markets begin to wear a festive look. Women begin to shop early, searching for the perfect rakhi to tie on their brother’s wrist and also buying sweets as it forms an important part of the celebrations. Garment retailers are usually busy and their shops full as women can be seen buying beautiful garments to wear on the festive day while men too scout for fancy kurtas and pyjamas or other dresses.
On the day of the festival, people usually get up early in the morning and take a bath. After offering their prayers to the Gods the festivities begin. The sister ties the holy thread around her brother’s wrist, which is usually accompanied by the chanting of mantras. The sister performs an aarti for her brother’s good health and long life and applies a tilak on his forehead. Following this the sister offers sweets to the brother usually putting the sweet into his mouth with her own hands. In return, the brother too expresses his love for his sister by giving her a gift which can be a product, a piece of jewellery or some other item or it can be simply money.
Send fabulous messages, quotes and cards to your brother and Sister
Over the years, sisters have used various ways to express their love for their brothers who are in some other city or country and can’t make it on that day. These include sending rakhi’s or cards to their siblings. However, the advancement of technology has witnessed new ways for sisters to express their love. Internet has played a pivotal role in bridging the gap. Today, apart from the rakhi and greeting cards, sisters send internet e-cards and messages to convey their love to their brothers. You will find plenty of well designed e-cards and messages with beautiful words on the internet. Click here to send messages quotes and cards.