Guest Author - Preena Deepak
Raksha Bandhan (meaning bond of protection) is a famous Indian Festival observed in Northern States. Popularly referred to as Rakhi Purnima, this festival is of importance for sisters and brothers. As in the case of all Indian festivals, Raksha Bandhan festival has rich religious backing with rituals and prayers playing an important role.
For Raksha Bandhan, sisters prepare or purchase a thin thread called Rakhi, mostly made of silk and adorned with pompoms, beads, glitter and other embellishments. Rakhis are made of different materials like metals, natural fibers, sandal wood and colorful threads of varying sizes. Sisters also prepare a thali (or plate) with special items used in religious rituals and add the Rakhi to it.
The Rakhi thread is tied to the hand of brothers as part of a ceremony. By tying the thread the sister pleads for safety and blessings on her brother. The brother on his part vows to protect and care for his sister. The Rakhi then becomes a literal bond of protection.
As part of the festival, it is common for brothers to gift their sisters with money, clothes, ornaments or other items. The festival is accompanied by a huge selection of sweet dishes and a mouth watering Indian meal. It is common practice for brothers and sisters to feed each other with sweets when Rakhi festival is observed.
Raksha Bandhan is one Indian festival that brings the relationship between a brother and sister to the forefront. Sisters are known to tie colorful Rakhi threads on the hands of their own brothers as well as cousins. Celebrating this festival each year serves as a reminder for brothers to protect and care for their sisters who devotedly pray for their well being.
Rakhi is observed by Hindus and Sikhs in India. In the present age when sisters and brothers donít always live in the same location, sending Rakhi threads and gifts by mail has gained popularity.
It is important to mention that the Indian Nobel Laureate and Poet, Shri Rabindranath Tagore took it upon himself to promote Raksha Bandhan in India by emphasizing on Rakhi Utsavs. These were community celebrations of Raksha Bandhan intended to bring together people belonging to different sections.
Raksha Bandhan is a festival that promotes goodwill and reinforces family values. In many ways it is a reminder to brothers and sisters to care for each other. In these times of changing values and social obligations, it is festivals like Raksha Bandhan that keep affection and bonding between siblings intact.
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Handmade Designer Rakhi for Your Brother - AMA
Click on the link below to make this interesting book of Rakhi stories your own!
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