Raksha Bandhan – Celebrating the blessed bond of siblings!
It is that time of the year again. Coming Monday, streets in India will be lined selling colourful Rakhis and men will be seen walking around with a cluster of orange, yellow and red decorated, feather-light, checkered little threads.
Rakhi, widely known as Raksha Bandhan is celebrated to mark the strong bond between brothers and sisters. Raksha Bandhan is a day where sisters follow the tradition of tying the sacred thread or Rakhi on their brother’s wrist and pray for their health, prosperity, long life and happiness. Brothers, on the other hand, present delightful gifts to their sisters and promise to protect them always. Today, the festival of Raksha Bandhan has crossed the boundaries of our country and is celebrated across the globe with zeal and enthusiasm.
So where does this tradition come from?
Raksha Bandhan is an age old festival and has many legends and famous myths related to it. The practice started from the ancient Rajput era where the queens, as a custom started sending Rakhi threads to neighbouring rulers as a symbol of sibling relationship. Since then this festival has been celebrated in the same manner and tradition. Rakshabandhan usually falls on the full moon day or Purnima of the Shravan month as per the Hindu calendar. The festival has several rituals, which differs all around the world.
That being said brothers and sisters across the world celebrate the festival together. Members of the family gather together and start the celebration with the sister lighting up the religious lamp which signifies the fire deity for aarti. Both the sister and brother face each other, the sister then applies tilak on her brother’s forehead and offer Aarti. After the Aarti, she ties the sacred thread or Rakhi a ‘bond to protect’ on her brother’s wrist and offers him sweets, chocolates or mithai. After the Raksha Bandhan is tied, the brother presents Rakhi gifts to his sister. The brother vows to guide and protect her throughout the life under all circumstances. You would have seen on Television where a playful-yet-caring brother will buy a celebrations box for his affectionate and loving sister.
Why follow cliche hop skip and jump do something for your brother this Rakhi? This year, apart from the usual rituals you and your sibling for a change pack a basket and go for a picnic, to a fun game of Frisbee, take a trip to an amusement park, revisit your favourite restaurants and share your childhood favourite food. Remember the bike rides that scared you as a child? Hop on the rides and scream like a kid, when you have your brother by your side and lastly don’t forget to express your love. Sometimes it’s essential to say how much you love and miss each other. If this Rakhi you are not going to be with your brother/sister, send them a text message or an email or a good old handwritten letter to tell them how much you care.
"Sometimes, being a brother is even being better than a Superhero" After all, Rakhi is all about the celebration of sibling’s relationship! Happy Raksha Bandhan!