Raksha Bandhan Festival India

raksha bandhan festival

Date

Dates

Start Date: 15-08-2019 End Date:    15-08-2019
Location

Location

All over India

An insight into the ritual of Raksha Bandhan

An insight into the ritual of Raksha Bandhan

In India, festivals are the celebration of unity, love, and diversity. Festivals are an epitome of affection, fraternity, and divine sentimental values. The festival of Raksha Bandhan celebrates the bond of protection between brothers and sisters. It is an occasion to nourish love, care, and sacred feeling of brotherhood.

Festivals in India is incomplete without the Indian festivities, the gatherings, exchange of sweets and gifts, singing and dancing. Raksha Bandhan is a regional celebration primarily belonging to the northern and western region of India but soon become an integral custom around the world celebrating this festival with the same lyric and spirit.

On the day of Raksha Bandhan, females prepare the pooja thali with Diya, Haldi, chawal, Rakhi thread, and sweets. The ritual begins with prayer offerings in front of the god image, soon after the females ties Rakhi to her brother or any important male of that stature and wishes for his happiness and welfare. In turn, the brother acknowledges the love with a promise to protect his sister through all times.

Sisters tie Rakhi on the wrist of their brothers between chanting of mantras whilst applying Haldi and rice on his forehead as a mark to win against life circumstances. There is an exchange of gifts, symbolizing the physical acceptance of her love and his pledge towards togetherness.

Raksha Bandhan has been part of Hindu traditions for several decades. However, the methods to express love has changed over time with changing lifestyle to make the celebration livelier. The increasing distances evoke the desire to be together stronger with an inherent power that pulling the siblings together. Facilities like rakhi cards, e-rakhis, and rakhis through posting service is a convenient part of communicating the Raksha Bandhan messages in the modern scenario.

The significance of Raksha Bandhan among various religions in India.
The significance of Raksha Bandhan among various religions in India.

Hinduism- The festival is widely celebrated by the Hindus in parts of India along with other countries like Nepal, Pakistan, and Mauritius. Jainism- The occasion is adored by the Jain community where Jain priests present ceremonial rakhi threads to the devotees. Sikhism- This festival of Raksha Bandhan is devoted to the brother-sister love is observed by the Sikhs as Rakhardi or Rakhari.

The significance of Raksha Bandhan is the sharing of the divine bond between a brother and a sister. The ancient tradition of a sister tying a sacred thread on the wrist of her brother and in return the brother promising to protect her with a sense of trust and responsibility between the siblings. The existence of the ritual is present in various mythological manuscripts. The actual meaning of Raksha is to protection whereas Bandhan means a bond, a sister ties the sacred thread, the brother should be obliged to protect her.

Origin of the festival Raksha Bandhan
Origin of the festival Raksha Bandhan

The festival of Raksha Bandhan is believed to have dawned centuries before with several stories related to the celebration of the unique festival.

According to the ancient legend of BhavishyaPurana, a raging battle between the Gods and demons took place. Lord Indra known as the deity of the sky, rains, and thunderbolts was fighting the battle from the side of Gods facing tough strike from the powerful demon King Bali. The war failed to come on a decisive end. Indra's wife Sachi went to the Lord Vishnu was presented with a sacred bracelet made up of cotton thread. Sachi tied the sacred thread around the wrist of her husband Lord Indra who eventually defeated the demons. The earlier transcript of the festival described the holy threads which were used by women for prayers and a symbol of strength were tied to their husband while leaving for war. Unlikely the current times, the holy threads were not limited to relationships of brother-sister.

As per the script of BhagavataPurana and Vishnu Purana, Lord Vishnu won the three worlds from the demon King Bali and was asked by King Bali to stay with him in the palace. The Lord Vishnu accepted the request. However, the wife of Lord Vishnu, Goddess Lakshmi wanted to return to their native place of Vaikuntha. By tying a rakhi to King Bali, they started on a bond of brother and sister. On asking about the return gift, Goddess Lakshmi asked Bali to free Lord Vishnu and let him retreat to Vaikuntha. King Bali honored the request and Lord Vishnu retreated to his place with Goddess Lakshmi.

Rakhi Purnima
Rakhi Purnima

The month of Shravana is celebrated as the month of worships. The festival of Raksha Bandhan is also known as Rakhi Purnima as it falls on the full moon day known as Amavasya of the Hindu month Shravan.

Even though the festival is observed throughout the country with common rituals, there are few states which stand out with their set of customary acts for the tourists to understand the Indian culture well.

1. Pavitropana in Gujarat

The locals in Gujarat worship Lord Shiva with the dogma that their mighty power will demolish every negativity present in the world and peace will sustain thereafter.

2. NaraliPurnima in Maharashtra, Goa, and Karnataka

This festival comprises the locals throwing coconuts in the sea-shore. Such a ritual is a way to adore the sea and is a widely performed ritual by the fishermen. Along with that, many people plant coconut trees along the banks of the rivers.

3. JhulanPurnima in West Bengal

Before rejoicing Raksha Bandhan with the established ritual, people of West Bengal worship Lord Ram and Sita.

4. AvaniAvittam in South India, Odisha and Uttarakhand

AvaniAvittam is a tradition followed by the Brahmins of Odisha, Jharkhand and South India with that belief that on this day Lord Vishnu helped revive the stolen Vedas. In their honor, they change the sacred thread commonly known as Janaui in India.

5. Annual fair in Amritsar

At Baba Bakala in Amritsar district, an annual fair is organized on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan. It is a great tourist attraction.

People from different religions and faiths celebrate the auspicious festival of Raksha Bandhan as it provides spiritual revelation to celebrate the togetherness. With major transformation in lifestyle and beliefs, the sacred Raksha Bandhan festival has gone through changes. However, Raksha Bandhan attracts the tourists and binds people together with splendor sensation in modern times.

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