Raksha Bandhan in India
Raksha Bandhan, also known as Rakhi, is a popular festival celebrated in India. This event symbolizes the bond between brothers and sisters and is observed with great enthusiasm and joy throughout the country. In the local language, Raksha Bandhan means "the bond of protection, obligation, or care."
Raksha Bandhan is celebrated on the full moon day of the Hindu month of Shravana, which typically falls in August. The date changes every year as it is based on the lunar calendar.
Raksha Bandhan has its roots in ancient India, with various legends and historical events associated with it. One such story involves the Mughal period when the widowed queen of Chittor, Rani Karnavati, sent a Rakhi to the Mughal Emperor Humayun, seeking help to defend her kingdom against invasion. Moved by the gesture, Humayun marched with his troops to protect her kingdom. Although the origins of Raksha Bandhan may be rooted in mythology and legends, it has evolved over time, adapting to social and cultural changes.
National customs for Raksha Bandhan in India
Raksha Bandhan is celebrated with much fervor and excitement all over India. The main custom involves sisters tying a sacred thread or Rakhi on their brothers' wrists, symbolizing their love and prayers for their brothers' well-being, while the brothers vow to protect and support their sisters. Before tying the Rakhi, sisters perform an Aarti, which is a ritual of worship, and apply a tilak (a colored mark) on their brothers' foreheads.
The exchange of gifts between siblings is also an essential part of the celebration. Brothers usually give gifts or cash to their sisters as a token of love and appreciation. Families come together to celebrate the festival with delicious food, sweets, and happiness.
Local customs for Raksha Bandhan in India
While the national customs for Raksha Bandhan remain consistent across the country, there are some variations in how the festival is celebrated in different regions of India.
In some parts of North India, the festival is also known as "Kajari Purnima" or "Kajri Navami," where farmers worship the land and pray for a good harvest. In West Bengal, it is called "Jhulan Purnima," and Lord Krishna and his consort Radha are worshiped on this day. In South India, the festival is referred to as "Avani Avittam" or "Upakarma," and Brahmin men change their sacred thread on this day.
Despite these regional variations, the central theme of love, affection, and protection between siblings remains the same throughout India.
Raksha Bandhan is a unique festival that celebrates the love and bond between siblings in India. With its rich history and diverse customs, it brings families closer together, transcending social and religious boundaries. It serves as a reminder of the importance of love, care, and protection between brothers and sisters, making it a cherished celebration across the country.