Nothing captures the essence of a relationship between a brother and sister like the wonderful Indian Festival Raksha Bandhan. Raksha means ‘to protect’, and Bandhan means ‘bond’, therefore Rakhi is a bond of protection. Each year on Rakhi day, sister tie a Rakhi or an amulet around their brother’s wrist as a protecting charm. They appeal to God to always protect her brother and bestow all happiness upon them.
Raksha Bandhan is a Hindu custom marking the love and affection between brothers and sisters. It is celebrated on “Shravan Sud Poornima” every year according to the Hindu calendar. A celebration of bonds between brother and sister, the family holiday of Raksha Bandhan (Rakhi) is celebrated in most Indian communities around the world.
On this auspicious day of Raksha Bandhan, sister visit their brother and sometimes brother is invited by sister for Rakhi celebrations. After performing Puja, sister applies a tilak on brothers forehead and performs arti for him. She then ties a Rakhi on her brothers wrist while praying for his long, healthy and happy life. Brother expresses his gratitude to sister for her affection and vow to protect her from all hardships in life. Brother and sister share a sweet and enjoy a harmonious time with rest of the family.
Festival of Raksha Bandhan also calls for celebrations and merriment. Brother pampers their sweet sisters by return gifts for her. This could be some cash or gifts like jewelry, apparel, cosmetics or household gift items. Sisters too depict love for their brothers by showering presents on them. They also prepare brothers favorite dishes. Those staying away from their siblings take help of the courier, postal and online Internet services to let each other know much they care for their brother/sister and wish to be together on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan.
Nowadays Rakhis are decorated with soft silky threads of various colours, and also with ornaments, pictures, gold and silver threads etc. These Rakhis enhance the artistry of the people. Within these Rakhis reside sacred feelings and well wishes. It is also a great sacred verse of unity. Acting as a symbol of life’s advancement and a leading messenger of togetherness.
Raksha Bandhan has retained its glory and sacred sensation in modern times too. Brothers and sisters wherever they may be make it a point to celebrate the occasion together. If they are far away, rakhi and gifts are sent through mail or online gifting sites. And even today, the meaning of custom remains beautifully intact.
Rakhi festival reminds us the pure love between brother and sister. It also reminds every brother to protect & take care of his sister in every situation, where she needs help. Raksha Bandhan has been and always will be an occasion to cherish and strengthen the beautiful bond shared by brother and sister.
Raksha Bandhan if taken in true sense has a much broader perspective; the festival encompasses true sense of peace and brotherhood. In a world full of crisis and strife, these kind of rituals hold the key to peaceful existence. The auspicious day of Raksha Bandhan can be used as a potent tool for social change, which could ultimately envelop everyone in a permanent bond of love.