Rakhi is a sacred festival that stands for
the eternal bond of love and affection and strengthens the spirit of
brotherhood among siblings. According to the Hindu calendar, the festival of
Rakhi falls on the fifth month which is called Shravana. As per the English
calendar, it falls in between July-August and this actually corresponds with
the Hindu calendar. This festival is also popular by the name 'Rakhi
Purnima' as it falls on the full moon day. This year, Rakhi will be
celebrated on 18th August.
On this auspicious day, sisters tie beautiful thread called Rakhi or
Raksha, which is a symbol of protection, on the wrist of their brothers. The
red tilak which the sisters apply on their brother's forehead signifies her
unconditional love and affection attached with him. Brothers also recognize
the bonding of love and by extending hand towards sisters. They also promise
them to protect from all difficult situations and adversaries of life. This
Rakhi ceremony is followed with exchange of Rakhi gifts wrapped with love
and lots of sentiments.
The origination of Raksha Bandhan can be traced back to the ancient period.
The age old scriptures embarked the practice of tying Rakhi knots in the
Hindu mythological legends mainly to the Lord Indra, the King of Heavens. In
the vedic period, during a war Lord Indra fall to the power of his opponent,
Demons. Worried over the outcome of war, Indra got advised by Brihaspati
Guru. Following his advise, Indra's wife Indrani tied a talisman on Indra's
wrist. This reversed the war situation and Indra defeated demons. This
talisman safeguarded him from all dangers, therefore it was referred as
'Raksha Sutra' and the whole ceremony of tying talisman by Indrani to his
husband was named as Raksha Bandhan.
The festivities of Raksha Bandhan start by the day break. People get ready
and gather at a common place for the worship of God. After the completion of
puja, sisters perform the rituals of rakhi festivals. She ties rakhi on the
wrist of her brother, perform aarti, put tilak and rice particles on his
forehead amid chanting of mantras. Then she offers him sweets and gifts. The
brother accepts her offerings and promise to protect her and stand by her
whenever she need him. He also give her a return gift as a token. It is
believed that when a woman ties a rakhi around the hand of a man it becomes
mandatory for him to honour his religious duty and protect her.
Nowadays, rakhi celebrations are full of excitement and gaiety all across
the world. The markets get flooded with fancy and colorful rakhi and rakhi
gifts long before the festival. People get into a mood of shopping new
clothes, rakhis, rakhi gifts and many more. Gift shops start offering
special rakhi discounts and packages for this occasions. Even the sweet
shops start their preparations well in advance to meet the bulk demands on