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Raksha Bandhan – Love between Brothers and Sisters

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Travel Features >> Raksha Bandhan – Love between Brothers and Sisters

Raksha Bandhan – Love between Brothers and Sisters

August 02, 2014

The festival of Raksha Bandhan or Rakhi celebrates and reaffirms the bond between brother and sister. On this auspicious day the emotional bond between siblings is strengthened as the sister lovingly ties a thread on her brother’s wrist and prays for his well-being. The brother in turn pledges to take care and ‘protect’ her under all circumstances, and most importantly gives her a gift too!

Rakhi is a much awaited festival in families as it is a reaffirmation of the love between brothers and sisters. Preparations for this festival can start days in advance, especially if the sister wants to make her own ‘rakhi’. The rakhi typically is a sacred silk or cotton thread that may just be in one colour, normally red or it can be woven or plaited with colours like yellow, silver or gold to make it aesthetically nice looking. This can also be studded with sequins or other small ornamental embellishments. The markets are flooded with machine made rachis, some big, some plain, some small in all shapes and sizes. But the best ones are those handmade by the sister herself as then it becomes a labour of love and so very symbolic of the occasion.

Rakhsha bandhan is celebrated every year in the month of August and the date may differ as going by the Hindu calendar, it falls on Shravan Poornima day which is the full moon day in the month of Shravan. The rakhi festival is primarily celebrated all over north India, but today because of its universal appeal people also celebrate in west and south India.

Rakhi Rituals
The day of Rakhi dawns and excitement fills the air as the sisters get ready and then prepare a ’thali’ of sweets accompanied by a diya, a few grains of rice,some saffron threads and the rakhi thread. They visit their brother and do an ‘aarti’ whilst chanting some mantras to invoke the gods for the good health and well-being of their brother. The finale is tying the sacred thread around his wrist and the brother in reciprocity gives a gift to his sister in gratitude with a promise to look after and protect his sister. All this is carried out amidst great bonhomie and the family gathers around to witness and take part in the celebrations. A great time for family bonding and the reaffirmation of sibling love in these modern times when occasions are needed to get the family together and for them to spend time together away from their individual busy lives.

Raksha Bandhan is a much awaited and looked forward to festival as it means special family bonding time.




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