Raksha Bandhan

Nowhere we get to see relationships between brothers and sisters being glorified in a traditional and a divine manner as in India. This chaste bonding between siblings is celebrated in the presence of parents and by seeking blessing from God through a festival called 'Raksha Bandhan.' It strengthens the bond between kin and remind brothers about their duties and responsibilities towards sisters.

Raksha Bandhan Festival

This pious festival comes in the month of Shravan and is either in July or August on a full moon day. The Hindu calendar calls this period of the festival as Shravan Sud Poornima. It is celebrated by Hindu, Sikh and Jain in India, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh and all places in the world where these communities are residing. On this day, sisters tie a Rakhi on their brothers' wrists and pray for their well-being and good health. It symbolizes sisterly love and true feelings for their brothers. Brothers, vow to protect their sisters for a lifetime.

Significance of Raksha Bandhan

Raksha Bandhan is of great importance not only from a family's view but from a social perspective as well. As India is a home to different languages, tradition and culture, it becomes necessary to remind people about the importance of staying in harmony and valuing each other's custom. The Rakhi festival or Rakhi Poornima as it is called performs this role perfectly and raises the benchmark of unity in diversity. Therefore, we get to see many Muslims, Christians and other religions celebrating it with the same intensity and admiration as Hindus. It spreads a social message to the people that they may follow certain practices and tradition as scripted in their holy books, but when it is a matter of unity they must put an end to the delusions and participate in festivals.

To respect the sanctity of this festival, one need not have to be blood related. Any person who wants to have a homely and pure relationship can get an amulet tie on his wrist by girls staying in the next door. Once it is tied, there is a sense of harmony and it signifies the start of a social relationship which is appreciated and revered by the society.

Moreover, it helps in giving a shape and meaning to the relationship. For example, if a guy is pursing a girl to accept his offer and the girl is not interested, she can tie the Rakhi on the guy's wrist and make him her brother. Instead of listening a direct 'no,' just being a friend could pacify him and change his viewpoint. For youngsters going to colleges, this small holy thread is a good way of getting rid of obscene comments and passes from the opposite sex.

History of Raksha Bandhan

No festival in India is complete without referring it to the mythological stories. Though there are many such stories, one that is famous and had a deep impact in today's social life is that of Lord Krishna and Draupadi. When Krishna used his Sudarshan Chakra to kill Shishupala, his finger got hurt in the process and started bleeding. Seeing this, Draupadi tore a piece from her saree and tied it on Krishna's finger to stop the blood. For her pure concerns, Krishna promised her to protect in times of needs. And as a true brother, he fulfilled his promise at the time of Draupadi Vastra Haran when Dushshashan tried to humiliate her in front of Pandavas and Kauravas in the royal court.

Raksha Bandhan Celebration

Raksha Bandhan is a traditional festival being celebrated for ages throughout India. This symbolic day is observed on the full moon day of Shravan Poornima. As the occasion is approaching, stalls and stores prepare themselves by stocking different colourful and designer rakshis for sale. The traditional ones which were made of cotton and a silk thread is still found in the market. Nowadays, we get to see beads, stones, and images of god adorning the charm. Many shops even sell it made of silver and gold. On this day, sisters perform an aarti on brothers and pray to god to give them good health and prosperity. They receive gifts in the form of money, dress, and anything they have wished and asked for from the brothers. Sweets are shared among each other to induce the sweetness in their relationships.

Dishes prepared on this day by sisters for their brothers also adds up to the glory of this festival. Being siblings, sisters knew what sort of dishes is liked by their brothers. And they take all the efforts to cook the same to express their love and affection. Meals are usually shared among families. Generally, it is a tradition to serve kheer made from vermicelli.

Though Rakshan Bandhan is celebrated with a small piece of cotton and a thread, it means a lot for siblings. The Rakhi tied around brothers' wrists is a not just any other knot but a promise of protection.