Raksha Bandhan, widely known as Rakhi is a Hindu festival which signifies the unconditional bond of love, care and affection among siblings that brings about a sense of protection & security that ultimately strengthens the everlasting siblings’ bond.
In literal terms, the word Raksha Bandhan is an amalgamation of two words- ‘Raksha’ that means ‘protection’ and ‘Bandhan’ means ‘bond’. Thus, Raksha Bandhan is a festival that symbolises the sacred relationship between a brother and sister & fosters the feeling of brotherhood.
Raksha Bandhan has a much broader perspective than before. Besides the siblings, all those who share a relationship of trust and care, celebrate this day with equal zeal and enthusiasm.
There are several legendary stories associated with the celebration of Raksha Bandhan viz.Krishna and Draupadi, King Bali and Goddess Laxmi, Yama and the Yamuna, Alexander the great and King Puru etc.. Amongst them, one of the most famous stories is that of Humayun and Rani Karnavati. It was when the Sultan of Gujarat, Bahadur Shah Zafar invaded Chittor that Rani Karnavati -the widowed queen of Chittor’s King asked for help from the Mughal Emperor Humayun. Rani sent a Rakhi to Humayun so as to defend Chittor and save it from Bahadur Shah’s invasion. Humayun was extremely touched and overwhelmed that he immediately set off to defend Chittor and he kept his promise by evicting Bahadur Shah from Chittor and resorted Chittor to Rani’s son.
Raksha Bandhan Celebrations 2014
Raksha Bandhan, which is one of the most awaited festivals’ especially for the sisters, falls on the full moon day (Purnima) in the Shravan month of Hindu calendar. This year, Raksha Bandhan will be celebrated on Sunday, 10th August.
Raksha Bandhan Traditional Celebrations & Ceremony
The celebrations of the festival of Raksha Bandhan are not just confined to India but are also spread across the world wherein this day is celebrated with lots of fun, fervour and excitement.
Before the actual ceremony begins, sisters buy the ‘Rakhi’ (a sacred colourful thread embellished with beads etc.) that best suits their brother’s personality. Following this, on the festival day, sisters prepare the sacred ‘puja thaali’ that comprises of the Rakhi, vermillion, few grains of rice and water, along with sweets.
The actual traditional celebrations and ceremony of Raksha Bandhan begin when sisters tie the auspicious ‘Rakhi’ on the wrists of their brothers, following which they apply the ‘tilak’ and perform the ‘aarti’ while praying for each other’s well-being. Rakhi is one such cord that binds a brother to his sister. Tying a Rakhi on brother’s wrist simply implies that he will take care of her for the lifetime and promise to protect her from all harms and troubles. After this, both of them offer sweets with each other and sisters are pampered by their brothers with gifts as token of their love, care and affection.
Tips to celebrate Raksha Bandhan-the Bond of Love:
- Narrate the legendary stories associated with the celebration of Raksha Bandhan, to your children.
- Involve children in decorating the home for the festival.
- Teach your children popular Raksha Bandhan songs such as- Behna ne bhai ki kalai pe pyaar baandha hai, Phoolon ka taaron ka sab ka kehna hai, Bhaiya mere rakhi ke Bandhan ko nibhana etc..
- Decorate the puja thaali all by yourself.
- Siblings can opt for dressing up in the traditional clothes of the same colour.
- Buy bangles for the little girls to match with their clothes and apply heena (mehndi) on their hands.
- Instead of the usual Rakhi, opt for ‘Eco Rakhi’ (hand woven Rakhi made from sacred seeds and bead) for your brother.
- For kids, opt for buying cartoon Rakhi’s such as Chhota Bheem Rakhi, Doraemon Rakhi etc..
- Surprise your sibling by presenting him/her with a gift of his/her choice.
- Invite all your relatives at your home to celebrate the festival together.
So, celebrate the festival of love, bond and care with your siblings in an exciting way!