Raksha Bandhan – Celebrating the sacred bond of brother and sister

Raksha Bandhan – Celebrating the sacred bond of brother and sister

Raksha Bandhan, popularly known as rakhi, is a festival observed to pay homage to the sacred and unconditional bond between brothers and sisters. Raksha Bandhan in Sanskrit literally means “the tie or knot of protection It’s an ancient Vedic festival which is celebrated every year on the full moon day of the month of Shravan (August). Raksha Bandhan 2014 was celebrated with zest and vigour on August 10th.

On this festival, as a ritual, a sister ties a colourful rakhi, a sacred thread that symbolizes love between siblings, around her brother’s wrist. The festival starts by performing traditional aarti and concludes with prayers for the well being (good health, prosperity and happiness).

After the prayer, the sister applies a tilak, a colorful mark on the forehead of the brother. After that, the brother vows to guide and protect her throughout the life under all circumstances. Moreover, as a part of tradition, a brother presents his sister varied exciting gifts. Gifts play a prominent role and symbolizes tokens of love and affection.

The brother may also feed his sister with his hands. Then they hug and the larger family ritually congratulate the festive celebration of brother-sister love and protection.

Where does this tradition come from?

Raksha Bandhan is an ancient festival and has many myths and historic legends linked to it.
The popular practice of Raksha Bandhan has its historical associations also. The Rajput queens practiced the custom of sending rakhi threads to neighbouring rulers as token of brotherhood.