Raksha Bandhan is a sacred festival dedicated to love and affection between brothers and sisters. Raksha Bandhan or Rakhi festival will be celebrated on August 7, 2017.
Raksha Bandhan 2017
Raksha Bandhan 2017 Date
When: August 7, 2017
Raksha Bandhan - Rakhi or Raksha Bandhan is a festival most recognized and celebrated amongst the Hindus for its symbolic significance. Rakhi is a sacred thread that binds the love of a sister for her brother in a unique indelible bond of affection for a lifetime. Rakhi is representative of the instinctive ties of brother-sister relationship. It reinforces the sublimity of this relationship in a very endearing manner, much like the eternal nature of this bond itself. In fact, the strong conviction about the power of rakhi to bestow longer life for the brother and protection for the sister is boosted with every advancing year.
The concept of tying the sacred thread called 'Rakhi' on this day is not new and finds a mention in important episodes of Hindu epics and mythological stories. Indian history is replete with stories of Hindu queens sending rakhis to Mughal emperors in their hour of need while the latter promised to honor the bond in both word and deed. Hence, the popularity of this old-age tradition of tying rakhi is an acknowledgement of the bond of pure love and affection among siblings.
One of the more popular myths strengthening the belief in the power of rakhi is the prayer of Indrani for Lord Indra. Lord Indra, who once was challenged by the demons and renewed his powers to beat them when Indra's wife and Brihaspati tied a sacred thread on his wrist. Yama, the God of death, blessed his sister and all sisters tying rakhi with the promise of nurturing and protection. In the final climactic episodes of the Mahabharata, Lord Krishna told Yudhishthir to tie the rakhi for protection during war. Draupadi once tied a strip of cloth to the bleeding hands of Lord Krishna and was bestowed with brotherly protection.
A typical ceremony to honour the day of Raksha Bandhan involves some rituals like aarti for the brother imbued with prayers of long life before tying the rakhi on the brother/s' wrist. The brother is treated to sweets and traditional home delicacies. The brother shows his appreciation with a lovingly bought gift. Sometimes a lot of effort goes into carefully choosing rakhi gifts as this day is most awaited for its fun element, apart from its social and sentimental reasons. Those living apart send rakhis or e-rakhis for their brother/s. The brother(s) are seen wearing the Rakhi for the entire day to honour their sister's sentiments.
Get-togethers are common as part of Raksha Bandhan celebration as close-knit families and extended families come together to uphold the values of Indian culture. A variety of food is prepared and served at home. The day is spent with lots of endearing and fun-filled moments shared between family members. Special rakhi specific events and activities as well as fairs and knick-knack bazaars are organized to observe the day. Markets and shops adorn a festive look while gifts shops and sweets and confectionery shops display a variety of sweet delicacies to celebrate the occasion. Each year gift ideas become more interesting while rakhis adorn very contemporary look embossed with delicate ribbon flowers, leaves and cartoon character for kids.
With time, Rakhi celebration has extended to close circle of friends as they also carry out same vows of sisterly love and exchange gifts in earnest. In some parts of the country, a mother also ties rakhi to her son, a disciple to his/her Guru and priests to idols of Gods. In general, a whole wave of excitement engulfs families and social circles throughout the country.
Raksha Bandhan in India
To honour the basic principles behind Raksha Bandhan, 'Rakhi Mahotsavas' are held in Bengal and was started by Tagore to instill a sense of harmony in the society. Prayers are offered to Lord Krishna and Radha. A fair is held every year at Devidhura in Uttaranchal on Raksha Bandhan day.
Raksha Bandhan Date in 2018 and 2019
2018 - August 26, 2018
2019 - August 15, 2019