Raksha Bandhan will be celebrated on 7th August 2017. According to the Hindu Calendar, it is observed on the full moon day in month of Shravan. On this day, brothers and sisters celebrated their bond of care and protection. In other parts of India, it is also known as Rakhi Purnima, Rakhri, Rakhi, etc.. Keep reading this article to know more about this occasion...
Raksha means ‘protection’ and Bandhan means ‘bond’, therefore it means the bond of love and protection. Raksha Bandhan signifies the love and respect of a sister, as well as the protection and care of a brother. Rakshabandhan is the festival that adds on love, and strengthen the beautiful relationship of brother and sister.
Raksha Bandhan is celebrated by using a sacred thread called “Rakhi”. It is made from cotton or silk. Rakhi is to be tied around the wrist of brother from his sister. Sometimes, it can be a piece of precious jewellery like silver or gold bracelet. In 2017 also,Many kind of Rakhis are available in the market like cartoon Rakhis for children, beautiful bigger Rakhis for young people and Rakhi threads for older people. Choose the Rakhi of your choice to celebrate the festival of Rakshabandhan.
Rakhi or Rakshabandhan is also celebrated between those who shares a caring relationship between each other, whether they are biologically related or not. Cousin brothers and sisters also celebrate Rakhi Purnima and shares the same bond of love and care. So, celebrate Raksha Bandhan or Rakhi Purnima with your loved ones with full zeal and enthusiasm.
Before celebrating Rakshabandhan festival, let’s discuss about its significance -
It is believed that Rakhi (blessed thread of cotton or silk) has the power to protect the brother or the one who tied Rakhi around his wrist, from all the evil or bad things. Rakhi blesses him and give him the power to win against all odds.
The brother give the promise to his sister that he will protect her from all the bad or harmful things of society. He will always support her in every (good or bad) situation and will always be with her, financially or physically when needed.
Raksha Bandhan create and maintain a special and beautiful bond of love, care and respect between brother and sister. In 2017 also, Raksha Bandhan or we can say Rakhi Purnima spread the message of this divine love.
Before celebrating Rakhi Purnima or Raksha Bandhan, let’s first discuss the procedure of celebrating Raksha Bandhan.
Different types of beautiful Rakhis are picked up by sisters. A plate is decorated by them, with some Rakhis, sweets, Roli (vermilion), Chawal (rice) and a earthen lamp (Dia). New clothes are worn by both brother and sister. Sisters pray for the well being of their brothers, by rotating the Puja plate around their face. Then she applies Tilak (vermilion mark on forehead) with some rice on it. After tying the Rakhi around her brother's wrist, she offers him some sweets. Both brother and sister feed sweets to one another.
Brother pledges to protect his sister and give promise to support her in every situation. This ceremony take place in the presence of parents and all relatives. People will follow the same rituals for celebrating the festival of Raksha Bandhan.
The two or more brothers who don't have a biological sister or two or more sisters who don't have any biological brother, celebrate this festival with their cousin sisters and brothers. Sisters can also mail Rakhis to their brothers who are not present with them at the time of festival. Celebrate Raksha Bandhan by following these rituals.
There are some legends from ancient times, which shows the significance and power of the holy thread Rakhi. Let’s discuss these legends first, before celebrating Rakshabandhan or Rakhi Purnima.
The Holy Thread Of Devi Sachi
Once there was a fight between Gods and demons. The demons were overpowering Gods and the leader of Gods, Indra Dev was disgraced by the King of demons. Devi Sachi, the wife of Indra Dev was very worried and thus consulted Guru Brihaspati for help. Guru Brihaspati gave her a holy cotton thread and asked her to tie it around the wrist of her husband i.e. Indra Dev. Devi Sachi tied that blessed thread around her husband's wrist along with her wishes and prayers. The holy thread gave Indra Dev the powers and he defeated the demons successfully. This story inspires the power of holy thread.
Goddess Laxmi & King Bali
Once Lord Vishnu defeated King Bali and took over the three worlds from him. Bali was impressed and requested Lord Vishnu to stay in his palace. Lord Vishnu accepted his request and started staying in Bali's palace. The wife of Lord Vishnu, Goddess Laxmi was not happy of staying in Bali's palace, she wanted to go back to Vaikuntha. So, she went to Bali, tied a Rakhi around his wrist and made him her brother. Bali accepted the relationship and asked Goddess Laxmi that what she wanted in return. She asked him to take back his request from Lord Vishnu, as she wanted to go back to Vaikuntha. Bali accepted his sister's request, and this story again signifies the power of a sacred thread.
Legend Of Yama & Yamuna
Once Yamuna was very depressed and missing her brother Yama (the god of death) badly, as he had not visited to Yamuna from 12 years. Yamuna consulted Ganga (holy river Ganga) and told her the reason for her sadness. Ganga then reminded Yama about his sister, and he visited to Yamuna. Yamuna was overjoyed and she greeted him with lots of food and sweets. Yama was overwhelmed by his sister's love and asked that what she wanted as a gift, she only requested him to visit again soon. This story become the significant reason for celebrating the love of brother and sister or Raksha Bandhan.
Legend Of Santoshi Mata
Lord Ganesha had two sons, Shubh and Labh. During Raksha Bandhan, the sister of Lord Ganesha visited their place for celebrating the festival with lots of love and wishes. After seeing their love, Shubh and Labh were got irritated and asked Lord Ganesha for their sister. Lord Ganesha agreed and created his daughter from the divine flames of his wives Riddhi and Siddhi, named as Santoshi Mata. All the siblings then started celebrating Raksha Bandhan with lots of fun and joy.
Legend Of Mahabharata
During the period of Mahabharata, Draupadi tied Rakhi to Lord Krishna for her husband's safety. And Mata Kunti tied Rakhi to her grandson Abhimanyu for his safety before the great war.
Raksha Bandhan or Rakhi Purnima is a festival which is not bounded in the limits of biological relationships or families, that is why it is celebrated on such a large scale. People started tying Rakhis to their friends and neighbours, or to those with whom they want to share this special bond of love and care. This adds on to the significance and celebrations of Raksha Bandhan.
People start preparing much in advance for the celebrations of Rakhi Purnima. Large variety of Rakhis and gifts can be seen in the market almost a month before the festival of Raksha Bandhan. There is also a tradition of exchanging sweets on this auspicious occasion of Rakshabandhan.
Siblings perform rituals in the presence of all family members, they spend time together and celebrate by exchanging gifts and sweets. All siblings and relatives enjoy good food and remember the memorable moments they spent together. The siblings who are far away or cannot come for the ritual can share e-cards or e-mails for giving their wishes.
Kumaon, Himachal Pradesh: In the area of Kumaon Uttarakhand, men change their Janeu (the sacred thread) on the day of Rakhi Purnima along with the usual rituals of the festival for celebrating Rakshabandhan.
West Bengal: In West Bengal, Raksha Bandhan is also known as Jhulan
Purnima. They offer prayers to Radha-Krishna and sisters tie Rakhis on their brothers’
hand by following the usual rituals.
Nepal: In Nepal, Rakshabandhan is also known as Janeu Purnima. They enjoy the festival by sharing sweets and gifts and a sacred thread is tied around the wrist by family members or relatives.
Pakistan: Hindu community of Pakistan celebrate the festival of Raksha Bandhan. They also follow the same usual rituals for celebrating Rakshabandhan with full fun and joy.
The people of these areas will follow the same trends and traditions again for celebrating Rakhi Purnima in 2017.
Every year different sweets are prepared at home or bought from the market to add on the sweetness of this sweet festival.
Names of some of the sweets for celebrating Raksha Bandhan are as follows:
Some other tasty and salty delicacies of Rakshabandhan are Khasta Kachori and Papdi Chaat. Some people also prefer to share chocolates or cookies as sweets, according to their choice.
People also buy or prepare sweets or other delicacies to celebrate in a more delightful manner.
Raksha Bandhan is beyond the limits of cast, creed and biological relationships. It celebrates the purity of the beautiful relationship of brother and sister. Hope this article helped you in understanding Raksha Bandhan or Rakhi Purnima better, so celebrate Raksha Bandhan and enjoy it to the fullest.
Happy Raksha Bandhan..!