Raksha Bandhan

Raksha Bandhan is celebrated in Shravana month during full moon day or Purnima day.

Updated: June 16, 2022

Raksha Bandhan is celebrated in Shravana month during full moon day or Purnima day. That is why it is also known as Rakhi purnima. The name Raksha Bandhan means "the bond of protection". The festival celebrates the relationship between brothers and sisters. Rakhi is a holy thread that is tied around the wrists of brothers by their sisters. The brother in return promise to look after his sister, and offers her a gift. On this day, brothers and sisters will share gifts and take part in a short ritual celebration to mark their appreciation for one another. The annual festival typically falls in the Gregorian calendar month of August. 

Significance of Raksha Bandhan:

As Rakhi dedicated to siblinghood, it holds a special place in the heart of siblings. This festival is celebrated across the country especially among hindus, jains and sikhs. It is also known as rakhi purnima, rakshabandhan or simply rakhi. The meaning of Rakshabandhan is the tie or knot of protection which comes from two sanskrit words namely Raksha and bandhan. This is mainly a Hindu festival which celebrates the love and bond between siblings. On this particular day, a sister ties rakhi thread on the wrist of brothers as a way to wish long life for him with all success and happiness in life. As its name implies, auspicious rakhi thread also protect brothers against bad eye. In return, a brother also promises to protect his loving and caring sisters forever in any situation of life. This festival is also celebrated with cousins as well as other distant family members. As per hindu calander, this auspicious and delightful eve is observed in the month of sravana which falls every year in the month of august. 

Although name of this eve vary from state to state, the main intention remains to be same which is celebrating the love and affection between siblings. Lets have a look how it differs from state to state. In west Bengal, this special festival is named as Jhulan Purnima. Lord Krishna and radha are worshipped by people on this day. Rakhi is celebrated in this state by tying rakhi on the wrist of brothers. Rakshabandhan is celebrated by the name of Nariyali Poornima. The fishermen community of the coastal state of Maharashtra known as Kolis, worship lord Varuna on this day. As its name implies, coconuts are thrown into the sea in the form offering to lord Varuna. People also apply sindoor or vermillion on foreheads of each other as a symbol of prosperity.

Celebration of Raksha Bandhan:

This holy day celebrates the special bond between brothers and sisters and reflects the immense love and care for each other. Distance is not a hindrance at all as brothers living far away from their sisters come to them to celebrate the occasion together. The traditions and customs of Rakhi remain unchanged for ages although the trend of celebrating the event has changed. Now also it is rejoiced in the same way with lot of excitement and happiness in heart. 

Raksha Bandhan is celebrated to rejoice the emotional bonding between the siblings. On this day the woman of the house wakes up early in the morning and start the day by performing puja to receive the blessings from almighty. Mostly brothers and sisters in the family often do fasting till the sister tie rakhi on the wrist of her brother.

The Rakhi puja thali is the highlight of the day with which the sisters do aarti for their brothers. The thali is decorated with rice particles called as roli chawal, beautiful rakhis, diya, kumkum, delicious sweets sometimes Nariyal. Sisters usually apply tikka on their forehead and tie rakhi around their wrist and wish for their prosperous life. In return, the brother offers gifts to them and promises to protect and take care of their sisters from all hurdles of life. The beautiful gifts they get in return shows that the sisters are being pampered by their brothers. As no celebration is complete without mouth-watering food, all the family members sit together and relish the delicacies. So, celebrate the day with full enthusiasm and joy. Sisters will be waiting for this special day as they also receive love and gifts from their brother. If you are far from your brother on this Raksha Bandhan, then you can surprise him by sending gifts and rakhi online.

Rituals of Raksha Bandhan:

The rituals of Raksha Bandhan varies in different regions. The way of celebration is as follows:

In the state of West Bengal and Odisha, Raksha Bandhan is also called Jhulan Purnima and on this day prayers and puja are offered to Lord Krishna and Radha.

Sisters tie rakhi on the hand of brothers and wish for their good health and long life. The festival is celebrated in offices, friends, schools, colleges and street with a new hope for a good relationship.

In Maharashtra, the festival of Raksha Bandhan is celebrated along with Narali Poornima (coconut day festival) among the Koli community. Kolis are the fishermen community of the coastal state. The Hindu god of Sea, Varuna is worshiped to invoke his blessings. Coconuts were thrown into the sea as offerings to Lord Varuna as a part of the rituals. Similar to other regions, the girls and women tie rakhi on their brother's wrist.

In North India, perticularly in Jammu, it is a common practice to fly kites on the occasions of Raksha Bandhan. It is a usual scene of the sky filled with kites of all shapes and sizes on this day. The locals buy kilometres of strong kite string, commonly called as "gattu door" in the local language, along with a multitude of kites.

In Haryana, people observe the festival of Salono along with celebrating Raksha Bandhan. Salono is celebrated by priests solemnly tying amulets against evil on people's wrists. Similar to other regions, sisters tie threads on brothers wrist and pray for their well being. In return, the brothers give them gifts promising to safeguard her.

In Nepal, Raksha Bandhan is referred to as Janai Purnima or Rishitarpani, and involves a sacred thread ceremony, which is observed by both Hindus and Buddhists of Nepal. The Hindu men change the thread they wear around their chests called as janai. In some parts of Nepal girls and women tie rakhi on their brother's wrists like other regions. During one of the days of the Tihar (or Diwali) festival, the Raksha Bandhan is observed by other Hindus of Nepal. The festival is observed by the Shaiva Hindus, and is popularly known in Newar community as Gunhu Punhi.

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