The holy thread of love and protection, Raksha Bandhan is celebrated in the month of Shravana mostly in the northern and western parts of India. During the festival, sisters tie a colorful band to her brother's wrist, which is also known as Rakhi, showing touching sentiments for one another. It fortifies the bond between the brothers and sisters. Like other festivals, this one also has some rites and customs attached to it which are seen with great sacred zeal. It is not only the bond that represents the affection of the brother-sister relation but as well as friendship and presenting something to each other.
History of Raksha Bandhan
The most important evidence in history is the tale of Rani Karnavati and Emperor Humayun. Dating back to 1535 CE, Rani Karnavati, Rajputs were battling against Muslims. During that era, Rakhi meant a sacred binding of thread and affection of sisters for her brothers. When Rani, widowed queen of the king of Chittor, came to know that there was no way to protect her army from the invasion of the Sultan of Gujarat, Bahadur Shah, the queen decided to send the Rakhi to Emperor Humayun. He got enthused by such gesture and decided to defend Chittor with his army.According to the mythology, Yamuna tied a thread of protection and love to her brother's hand and bestowed mortality. Yama, the god of death was touched by the harmony of the festival and said that whosoever ties a Rakhi from his sister will attain the never-ending protection.People from different religions and faiths celebrate this auspicious festival on a full moon day which falls in the month of July or August. According to the folklore, it provides spiritual reasons to celebrate the occasion. With major transforms in life, this sacred Raksha Bandhan festival has gone through scores of changes.
Meaning of Raksha Bandhan
The festival is made up of two words, namely "Raksha" and "Bandhan." As per the Sanskrit terminology, the occasion means "the tie or knot of protection" where "Raksha" stands for the protection and "Bandhan" signifies the verb to tie. Together, the festival symbolizes the eternal love of brother-sister relationship which does not mean just the blood relationships only. It is also celebrated among cousins, sister, and sister-in-law (Bhabhi), fraternal aunt (Bua) and nephew (Bhatija) and other such relations.
The best time to tie rakhi is said to be during Aparahna, which is normally during the afternoon period. However, if that is not possible then it can be tied during the Pradosh time period (starts at sunset and lasts up to 96 minutes after that). However, the scriptures say that tying the rakhi should not take place during the Bhadra phase (late evening and early morning- it differs from time to time) of the day since it is believed that during the Bhadra time, certain negative energies are at play.
How to celebrated Raksha Bandhan
On the day of Rakhi, sisters prepares the pooja thali with Diya, role, chawal, rakhi thread and sweets. The ritual begins with a prayer in front of God, then the sister ties Rakhi to her brother and wishes for his happiness and well-being. In turn, the brother acknowledge the love with a promise to stand by his sister through all the good and bad times.Sisters tie Rakhi on the wrist of their brothers amid chanting of mantras, put roli and rice on his forehead and pray for his well-being. She bestows him with gifts and blessings. In turn, brothers also wish her a good life and pledges to take care of her. He gives her a return gift. The gift symbolizes the physical acceptance of her love, reminder of their togetherness and his pledge. The legends and the reference in history repeated, the significance of the festival is emphasized.
Let’s celebrate Rakhi with some delicious food there are many sweets which can be prepared at home without any hassle.
6.Traditional Rajasthani ghevar
7.Instant Coconut ladoo
10.kala gulab jamun
Unconditional Bond of Love
This day has an inherent power that pulls the siblings together. The increasing distances evoke the desire to be together even more. All brothers and sisters try to reach out to each other on this auspicious day. The joyous meeting, the rare family get-together, that erstwhile feeling of brotherhood and sisterhood calls for a massive celebration.For everyone, it is an opportunity to reunion and celebrate. People also share tasty dishes, wonderful sweets and exchange gifts. It is a time to share their past experiences also. For those who are not able to meet each other, rakhi cards and e-rakhis and rakhis through mails perform the part of communicating the rakhi messages. Hand made rakhis and self-made rakhi cards are just representation of the personal feelings of the siblings.
Reason for the celebration of this festival
The festival of Raksha Bandhan is observed as a symbol of duty between brothers and sisters. The occasion is meant to celebrate any type of brother-sister relationship between men and women who may not be biologically related. On this day, a sister ties a rakhi around the wrist of her brother in order to pray for his prosperity, health, and well-being. The brother in return offers a gifts and promises to protect his sister from any harm and under every circumstance. The festival is also celebrated between brother-sister belonging to distant family members, relatives or cousins.