Raksha Bandhan is a festival celebrating the eternal bond of brothers and sisters. In this festival, sisters tie an auspicious thread to the brother’s wrist, as a symbol of protection, that the brother bestows on her. In return, the sister receives varieties of gifts and goodies from her brother. People dress up in fine clothes and eat traditional sweets during this festival.
Raksha Bandhan (Rakhi)
The bonding between a brother and a sister is simply unique and is beyond description in words. The relationship between siblings is extraordinary and is given importance in every part of the world. However, when it comes to India, the relationship becomes all the more important as there is a festival called “Raksha Bandhan” dedicated for the sibling love. The significance of the festival can be gauged from the fact that it strengthens the relationship between a brother and sister, a defining character of Indian society. Raksha Bandhan is a festival marked since ancient times and there are several mythological stories that revolve around this custom. Indian history has several stories when brothers are said to have stepped up to protect their sisters during times of adversity. It is said that in the ancient times, queens used to send Rakhi to their neighbours symbolising brotherhood. This is a special Hindu festival which is celebrated in India and countries like Nepal to symbolize the love between a brother and a sister. The occasion of Raksha Bandhan is celebrated on the full moon day of the Hindu luni-solar calendar in the month of Shravana which typically falls in the August month of Gregorian calendar.
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. Importance of Raksha Bandhan among various religions in India. It is said that the festival gained popularity after Rani Karnavati, the widowed queen of Chittor, sent a Rakhi to Mughal emperor Humayun when she was in need of his help. It is also believed that Draupadi tied Rakhi to Lord Krishna. Hinduism – The festival is mainly celebrated by the Hindus in the northern and western parts of India along with countries like Nepal, Pakistan and Mauritius. Jainism – The occasion is also revered by the Jain community where Jain priests give ceremonial threads to the devotees. Sikhism – This festival devoted to the brother-sister love is observed by the Sikhs as “Rakhardi” or Rakhari.
Origin of Raksha Bandhan Festival
The festival of Raksha Bandhan is known to have originated centuries before and there are several stories related to the celebration of this special festival. Some of the various accounts related to the Hindu mythology are described below:It is believed that Draupadi once tore a strip of her sari and tied it on Krishna’s wrist, that stopped Krishna’s bleeding from a battlefield wound. Krishna then declared her as his sister. In return, Lord Krishna protected Draupadi, when she was abused by the Kauravas in front of Pandavas, who had lost her in a gambling bet. Raksha Bandhan, meaning “Knot of Protection” is one of the most important festivals celebrated by Hindus throughout the world. The festival stands for the beautiful relationship shared between brothers and sisters. A lifelong promise of protection is made on this special occasion. It exhibits the beautiful relationship of love, care and affection between siblings.
Best Places to Celebrate Raksha Bandhan: