What is Raksha Bandhan?
Festivals are prevalent in India. A nation and its people become more recognisable through festivals. Diwali, Dussehra, Holi, Gudipadhva, and many other festivals are celebrated throughout India. Festivals offer a venue for mingling and exchanging comfort and delight. One holiday that highlights the affection between siblings is Raksha Bandhan.
The Hindu holiday of Raksha Bandhan honours the protective, loving, and devoted relationship between brothers and sisters. It is observed in the Savan month and heralds the beginning of the monsoon season, which often corresponds to the Gregorian month of August. As a sign of their love and affection, sisters traditionally tie a “raksha” around their brothers’ wrists. On the other side, brothers promise to defend their sisters in any situation. Following the rituals, the brother repays the favour by giving his sister (or sisters) gifts.
In some societies, it is customary for a brother to accompany his sister back to her parents’ home for Raksha Bandhan celebrations after seeing her in-laws if she is married. Raksha Bandhan is a Hindu celebration that doesn’t have the same pomp and circumstance as other Hindu festivals, but it is nonetheless a significant family occasion that is enthusiastically celebrated, if secretly.
What is Rakhi?
Sisters bind their brothers’ wrists with rakhi, which is a silken thread. Simple thread to pricey bracelets made of silver and gold are examples of its variety. The kids like rakhis that are colourful and include cartoon characters. By their sister-in-law, married women (Bhabhi) are given lumbas, a form of hanging rakhi. Because the brother’s wife is a family member and is accountable for their brother’s well-being, the custom is observed. Indian markets begin advertising and offering the wristbands for purchase well in advance.
It is not only a thread. It represents how much girls respect and cherish their brothers. The sisters make a wish for their brothers’ long life and good health as they bind the rakhi. To protect their sisters from all harm and perils, the brothers promise to do likewise. The custom is to reward brothers with presents or money.
Deep-Rooted Culture of the Festival:
Although it is mostly celebrated in the North and West of India, this event is observed with the same fervour all over the nation. Raksha Bandhan has evolved into a significant aspect of regional festivals, despite the fact that they may differ. In various groups and states throughout India, Raksha Bandhan is known by various names. Additionally, regional differences affect the meaning of Raksha Bandhan. In the southern and coastal regions, Raksha Bandhan is celebrated differently. In the northern and northwest regions of India, Rakhi Purnima is celebrated with a lot of vigour and zeal.
Raksha Bandhan is a festival honouring the pure love between a sister and a brother in this instance. In the Western Ghats, which include the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, and Karnataka, Raksha Bandhan is known as Nariyal Purnima, or the coconut full moon. In this case, Raksha Bandhan marks the start of a new season for individuals who depend on the water. Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, and Bihar all refer to the Raksha Bandhan day as Shravani or Kajari Purnima.
For women who have boys and for farmers, Raksha Bandhan is a significant holiday. Gujarati people observe Pavitropana on the day of Raksha Bandhan. On the day of Raksha Bandhan, devotees worship Lord Shiva, the three-eyed deity, by engaging in a large-scale puja.
The celebration has been observed in the same manner and according to the same customs for generations. With changing lifestyles, the only thing that has changed is the means. This will add to the ornate nature of the festivities. The holiday of Raksha Bandhan is largely celebrated in North India and brings out the strongest feelings of love and devotion between siblings. This event is observed with great vigour, as are many Indian holidays.
Significance of Raksha Bandhan:
Raksha Bandhan, also known as the Day of Love and Protection, is a holiday enjoyed by siblings to show one another love and affection and to strengthen their ties. But if we look deeper into our history and mythical traditions, we discover that Rakhi is not just a symbol of love and protection amongst brothers and sisters; according to the narrative of Indra and Indrani, Indra’s consort also knotted a sacred thread around his wrist to shield him from demons.
Rakhi represents that our loved ones were shielded from harm in the past when they were connected. Rakhi has also been used historically in India to reunite Hindus and Muslims during the Bengal split that occurred during the country’s war for independence. Rabindranath Tagore utilised the rakhi to promote harmony and brotherhood between the two religions and to reverse the British decision to divide Bengal.
One of the purest relationships, the link of brothers, is created and strengthened as a result of this holiday, which is its primary purpose. Hindu festivals have been observed for a very long time, or you could say from ancient times, and there are many myths surrounding them. In order to look out for and defend their brothers during battle, it is stated that warrior sisters would tie rakhis to them. Even now, people still carry out this action. The protection of the brothers serves as the festival’s central theme, and during this time, sisters and brothers exchange vows promising to protect one another until death do them part.
There is a teaching theme to every Indian holiday. The triumph of good over evil, harmony in daily life, observance of the seasonal changes, and harvest festivals are a few examples. Rakhi aims to convey the value of brotherhood to everyone throughout the world through this holiday. The message it sends is one of respect, love, and affection for one another.
Historical Linkages Of Raksha Bandhan
While the purpose of the Raksha Bandhan holiday is primarily to provide security, there are several tales and traditions from Hindu mythology and historical times that describe gods tying rakhi to shield their loved ones. Krishna-Draupadi~ This myth dates back to the time of the Mahabharata, when Lord Krishna injured her finger when he dispatched his Sudarshan Chakra from his finger to behead Shishupala. Then, according to legend, Draupadi wraps his finger with a piece of fabric from her saree. Lord Krishna, who was deeply affected by her compassion, vowed to shield her from all harm and adversity.
Indra-Indrani~ Rakhi, according to legend, is the sacred thread of protection. It is not always tied by a sister on a brother’s wrist, but also to those we love. According to the story of Indra and Indrani, during a battle between gods and demons, Indrani, Indra’s wife, tied a sacred thread in her husband’s wrist for protection against the demons. Yama-Yamana~ In order to shield Yamuna from Chhaya’s stepmother’s curse of death and mutilation, Yama is said to have tied a sacred thread around Yamuna’s wrist. It is thought that soon after the thread was fastened to his wrist, his curse was broken, all thanks to his sister’s devotion.
King Bali-Goddess Lakshmi~ On the day of Shravan Purnima, according to Indian tradition, Goddess Laxmi once assumed the appearance of a Brahmin woman and tied a rakhi to King Bali. She then came out and pleaded with the king to set his husband Lord Vishnu free so they could go back to Vaikunth.
How is it Celebrated?
In India, Raksha Bandhan preparations begin a few days before the holiday when sisters go shopping for rakhis and rituals like roli chawal, puja thali, coconut, etc. for their brothers while brothers scour the stores for the ideal present for their attractive sisters. On the day of Raksha Bandhan, everyone in Indian homes gets up early and takes a bath. Sisters tie the rakhi and give their brothers candy to eat after performing pooja and aarti before applying a teeka of roli and chawal on their foreheads. After that, brothers give their sisters gifts, and the two share a dinner.
Sisters arrange for online rakhi delivery in India and abroad for siblings who live apart from one another. They also send gifts to their brothers. Raksha Bandhan can be celebrated any way you’d like, and it’s always a great time to spend with family.
One of the ancient holidays that was observed by gods and goddesses was Raksha Bandhan. It has a distinct meaning and value. It is a time for sisters and brothers to express their truest emotions and share a lot of affection. There is a teaching theme to every Indian holiday. The triumph of good over evil, harmony in daily life, observance of the seasonal changes, and harvest festivals are a few examples. Rakhi aims to convey the value of brotherhood to everyone throughout the world through this holiday. The message it sends is one of respect, love, and affection for one another.
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