Sisters are like headlights on a car. They don’t make the distance to your home any shorter but they certainly light up the path and make your journey easy and fun-filled. Such is the relation between a brother and a sister.
With this wonderful thought, Today, we are going to discuss a beautiful Hindu festival that celebrates the eternal bond between a brother and sister. We fondly call it Raksha Bandhan Rakhi, Rakhi Bandhan, and even Rakhi Purnima.
About Raksha Bandhan Rakhi
Raksha Bandhan rakhi is a Hindu festival that is mainly majorly celebrated in India and in some parts of Nepal. This beautiful festival honors the love and affection between brothers and sisters.
Raksha Bandhan falls on the full moon day (Poornima) of the Hindu lunar calendar. It falls in the month of Shravana, which correlates to the month of August as per the Gregorian calendar.
Raksha Bandhan Rakhi Meaning and Importance of Raksha Bandhan Rakhi
The meaning of the word Raksha Bandhan literally goes by its name. ‘Raksha’ refers to ‘Protection’ and ‘Bandhan’ refers to ‘Bond’. Therefore, Raksha Bandhan translates to the bond of protection.
Although in its true form, the festival of Raksha Bandhan rakhi is specifically related to the bond between a brother and a sister.
However, the underlining message is the celebration of universal brotherhood and sisterhood and wishes for the welfare of a person. Therefore, with the changing times, girls often tie Rakhi to their elder sisters, friends, gurus, and to God’s idols.
History of Raksha Bandhan Rakhi | Why is Raksha Bandhan Rakhi celebrated?
History has a popular story that dates back to several centuries, during the Mahabharat era. It is believed that Lord Krishna hurt his finger in a fight to kill the evil King Shishupal.
When Draupadi noticed it, she immediately tore a piece of cloth from her sari and tied it to Krishna’s bleeding finger. Krishna was deeply impressed by this act and he promised to protect her in return.
Even in medieval history, we find that Rani Karnavati of Mewar sent a rakhi to Emperor Humayun. She sought his help when her kingdom was under attack.
History also has that Rabindranath Tagore started this mass Rakhi Mahotsav to bring together the Hindus and Muslims of Bengal. This was his effort to counter the efforts of the British empire that was creating a divide between both communities.
Raksha Bandhan Rakhi Thali Decoration | Raksha Bandhan Rakhi Thali Items
First, decide whether you want to decorate a thali by yourself or buy a Raksha Bandhan thali online.
If you decide to decorate a thali by yourself then first choose a thali made of steel, brass, silver, or any other metal. To decorate the Raksha Bandhan thali color the plate with bright oil colors. Once the color dries up then make design patterns by sticking mirrors, beads, stones, ribbons, zardozi, stones, etc. Your designer Raksha Bandhan thali is ready.
Once you have selected and prepared your thali, you can fill it up with these Raksha Bandhan thali items
- Roli or Teeka
- Incense sticks and stand
- Diya (optional)
- Coconut (optional)
- Hankerchief (optional)
- Brother’s good luck gift (optional)
How is Raksha Bandhan Rakhi celebrated | How to Celebrate Raksha Bandhan Rakhi ?
The preparation of this holy festival begins a few days before the festival. The girls’ shop rakhi and sweets for their brothers and brothers lookout for a suitable gift for their beloved sisters.
It is believed that the sacred thread of Rakhi, strengthens the relationship between a brother and sister.
On this auspicious day of Raksha Bandhan, sisters prepare a Puja Thali, which includes a Diya, Roli, rice, and Rakhi.
According to the custom, sisters first apply tilak (a red or saffron-colored mark made using color and rice grains dipped in little water) on their brother’s forehead with their index finger and then tie the sacred thread called Rakhi on their wrist. They also offer prayers and blessings for the protection and well-being of their brothers.
Brothers, on the other hand, gift their sisters and make promises to protect them from adversities and share sweets and other delicacies.
In some communities (especially the Rajasthani and Marwari communities) there is also a tradition to tie a rakhi called ‘Lumba rakhi’ on the bangle of the brother’s wife.
As some of us are away from our siblings this year, here are some special ways to celebrate this year!
Other less known Raksha Bandhan Rakhi Celebrations in India
Raksha Bandhan Rakhi in Western India | Celebrating Naarali Poornima
People in Maharashtra and in some coastal areas, celebrate this day as Naarali Poornima where people come together and worship the sea gods. They offer coconuts to the sea and celebrate the day by preparing and sharing sweets made from coconut.
Raksha Bandhan Rakhi in South India | Celebrating Avani Avittam
In southern states such as Kerala and Tamil Nadu people celebrate the day as Avani Avittam. Here the male members of families take a dip in the water and seek forgiveness of past sins. This day is also marked as a ‘thread changing’ ceremony where the male members change the holy thread called ‘janeu’ with a new one.
Raksha Bandhan Rakhi Food Menu | Raksha Bandhan Rakhi sweets
Festivals are the time to relish your taste buds. It’s an occasion to indulge in good food, sweets and have a gala time with family. Generally, it’s a tradition to make traditional Indian meals on the day of Raksha Bandhan. Here are a few Raksha Bandhan Food menus you can try –
North Indian Menu for Raksha Bandhan – Daal Makhani, Kadhai Paneer, Missi Roti, Jeera Rice, Vegetable Raita.
Rajasthani Menu for Raksha Bandhan Rakhi – Panchmel Dal, Baati, Churma, Gatte Ki sabzi, Boiled Rice, Rajasthani Kadhi
South Indian Menu for Raksha Bandhan Rakhi – Idli, Puran Poli, Sweet Appam, Vazhaikkai curry, curd, Lemon Rasam
Brunch Menu for Raksha Bandhan Rakhi – Chole Bhature, Aaloo Poori, Dahi Bhalle
Drinks for Raksha Bandhan Rakhi – Mangi Lassi, Kesar Badam Milk,
Sweet dish for Raksha Bandhan Rakhi – Kheer, Jalebi, Besan Ladoo, Rice Peda, Moong Dal Halwa, Rasmalai, Shahi Tukda
Raksha Bandhan Rakhi promises needed from every brother in today’s world
Today’s world is different and so are the challenges for a girl. The brothers of today should make these promises to their sisters
- A much needed promise. Promises to protect her modesty
- Make a promise to respect her privacy
- A commitment to be with her when she needs
- Promise not to judge her
- A promise to keep her safe and protected in the online world (especially from social media trolls 😊)
A few words from CityMom
Raksha Bandhan Rakhi is more than just a simple thread put around a brother’s wrist; it is a celebration of feelings and emotions. It’s a thread of affection that links two people together. This beautiful bond between a brother and a sister is difficult to describe in words.
This year, the celebration may be a little different, however, the love and affection for your siblings will always stay the same.
Today, the importance of such a festival can not be emphasized more. Let all men join hands and pledge to protect the ladies from the evils of society.