Raksha Bandhan in Sri Lanka
Raksha Bandhan, also known as Rakhi Purnima, is a popular festival celebrated by the Hindu community in Sri Lanka. This auspicious occasion symbolizes the bond between siblings, particularly between brothers and sisters. During this festival, sisters tie a sacred thread called Rakhi on their brothers' wrists, seeking protection and blessings for a prosperous life. In return, brothers promise to protect their sisters from any harm and offer gifts as a token of love.
Raksha Bandhan in Sri Lanka falls on the same day as it does in India, which is on the full moon day of the Hindu month of Shravana. The date usually falls in the month of August. The specific date changes each year according to the lunar calendar.
Raksha Bandhan has been celebrated in Sri Lanka for several centuries, tracing its roots back to ancient India. The festival is believed to have originated from the Hindu mythology of Lord Krishna and Draupadi, where Draupadi tied a piece of cloth on Krishna's finger when he was injured, and Krishna promised to protect her in return. Since then, the tradition of tying a Rakhi has continued and evolved into the present-day celebrations.
National customs for Raksha Bandhan in Sri Lanka
The customs and rituals observed during Raksha Bandhan in Sri Lanka are quite similar to those in India. Sisters prepare a thali (plate) containing sweets, fruits, flowers, and a Rakhi. They then perform an aarti (prayer ritual) for their brothers, apply a tilak (a mark made with vermilion) on their foreheads, and tie the Rakhi on their wrists. The brothers, in turn, pledge their protection and offer gifts to their sisters. The ceremony is accompanied by prayers and chanting of mantras.
Local customs for Raksha Bandhan in Sri Lanka
While the national customs for Raksha Bandhan in Sri Lanka are similar across the country, some regional variations can be observed. In certain areas, it is customary to exchange gifts between cousins and extended family members. Some families may also visit temples and participate in community celebrations, which involve cultural programs and sharing of food.
Raksha Bandhan in Sri Lanka is a festival that strengthens the bond between siblings and celebrates the love shared by brothers and sisters. The customs and traditions observed during this festival have remained consistent over the years, highlighting the importance of this special relationship. As Sri Lanka is a multicultural country, the celebration of Raksha Bandhan showcases the harmony and unity among the diverse communities that coexist in the nation.