Raksha Bandhan is the sacred festival of love and protection. Also known as rakhi Purnima or simply as rakhi, signifies and strengthens the love between brother and sister. Raksha Bandhan is celebrated by Hindus and Sikhs.
The festival is observed on the full moon day or otherwise in Hindus known as the Sharavan Purnima.
On the day of the Rakhi festival, the sister ties a Rakhi or the thread on the wrist of her brother. After this the sister performs the ‘aarti’ and then in return, the brother gives something to his sister as a gift.
The festival, marked by merriment, strengths the brother – sister bond every year.
Historical Significance Of Raksha Bandhan
There are several stories behind the celebration of Raksha Bandhan. This festival was marked by several different events. Some of the early events of this festival are even 6000 years old. The festival had its presence in the era of the early Aryans; but the presence or the way of celebrating has differed.
Raksha Bandhan in History
One of the most famous stories of the Raksha Bandhan is the story of Rani Karnawati and Emperor Humayun
Rani Karnawati and Emperor Humayun
It is believed that all through the medieval period, Rajputs were defending themselves from the Muslim assaults. Rani Karnawati was the widowed empress of the late king of Chittor. When her kingdom was attacked by Bahadur Shah, she in utmost perplexed situation sent a ‘rakhi’ to the Emperor Humayun. Humayun in return of this brotherly love sign, showed up to save Rani Karnawati and her kingdom.
Alexander the Great and King Puru
This is considered as the oldest story which backs the existence of rakhi since 300 B.C. This story even marks the existence of rakhi in people of different religion.
King Alexander, when at first came to invade India, was driven back by the army of the great king Puru. Witnessing the defeat of his husband, wife of Alexander, well acquainted with the concept and tradition of Rakhi, sent a rakhi to the King Puru; King Puru accepted the Rakhi with a sign of brotherly love. Later in times of war King Puru did not came in the way of Alexander.
This festival was even present at the time of the Gods. As it is written in the Hindu mythology that the savior of the good, Lord Krishna, when killed the wicked King Shishupal, was himself hurt and had a cut in his wrist. Draupathi, after seeing Lord Krishna Bleeding, had cut a piece of cloth from her sari and taught it around the wrist of the Lord. Lord Krishna promised to Draupathi to repay her debt when the appropriate time came. Later when Kauravas were snatching the ‘saari’ of Draupathi, after winning her in a bet from Pandavas; Lord Krishna came to help Draupathi by making her saari never ending.
Guru Nanak and Janeau
This festival is marked by secularism as it is not bound up to just one religion.
The festival also marks its presence in Sikhism. As Guru Nanak Nanak told the Hindu Brahmin, jeneau, to tie a thread on his wrist which should be a sign of love, compassion and care.
King Bali and Goddess Lakshmi
This story marks the presence of Lord Vishnu the the king Mahabali. As the Mahabli was a strong worshipper of lord Vishnu. Impressed by the Mahabali’s devotion, Lord Vishnu leaving his own living place, took up the task to protect Mahabali’s kingdom all by himself. Goddess Lakshmi, the wife of Lord Vishnu, depressed and saddened by this went to Bali as a Brahmin woman and tied a Rakhi on the wrist his wrist on the day of Shravana purnima., she then revealed her true identity to Bali.
After knowing all this Bali was heartily moved, he himself requested the Lord Vishnu to go back to his place in Vikundam along with his wife. That is why this festival is also called the Baleva, which means the festivity of Bali raja’s love and devotion.
Cultural Season Significance
The existence of this Festival is marked by the month of Sharavana, which means the festival of monsoon. This season carries the essence of all the complexities as well as the beauty of nature. The month of monsoon is marked as one of the most holy ones and it is considered as the scarcest one when on the full moon day.
Social Importance Of Rakhi
Rakhi or Raksha bandhan is marked by the love of brother and sister. It shows the long lasting relationship between both. Raksha bandhan is celebrated every year to make strengthen the relationship between both. The festival marks the bond of the two since their childhood.
The festival is not just for sisters and brothers born from the same mother or for cousins. This festival can be celebrated by anyone who feels brotherly or sisterly love for any one.
Rakhi festival is also called as the Narial Poornima or Coconut Full Moon.
Rakhi in South India is called as Avani Avittam.
Raksha Bandhan in Today’s Era
Rakhi in today’s era has taken up a modern look but the love, affection and the bond between the brother and sister has remained same since the medieval times.
Rakhi (Raksha Bandhan) Celebration
Nowdays ‘rakhi’ is not just marked by a single piece of thread; in this modern era ‘Rakhi’ has come out in a very flamboyance way. ‘Rakhi’, nowadays, is available in quite designer styles. There are several thousands of stylish Rakhis present in the market.
Every sister wants to knot the best looking Rakhi on the wrist of her brother. And it has even become a trend between boys to compare each other’s rakhi, as to mark the best one.
Latest Designs of Rakhi
Mehandi “ Heena”
Mehandi is the art made by Heena on the hands. On this festival, most of the sisters apply ‘Mehandi on their hands.
The preparation for the mehandi starts almost one week before the rakhi festival. Ladies go to the parlour or apply it by themselves.
Mithai : Indian Sweets
After the sister ties the Rakhi on the wrist of her brother, she then gives him something sweet to eat.
So this makes the presence wide colorful variety of Indian sweets present bountifully on this occasion. Sweet makers make special arrangements for this day as this has one of the most highest sales of the year.
Just like the old times brothers give something to their sisters in return of the Rakhi tied on their wrist.
There is a long list of available gifts among which a brother gifts something to his sister. It may be a chocolate or something else.
Rakhi (Raksha Bandhan) Songs
Our film industry has also shown the love of brother and sister on screens. Bollywood has marked the presence of such auspicious occasion by some great songs.
Some of the most popular songs of Rakhi (Raksha Bandhan) are
- Behna Ne Bhai – Resham Ki Dori
- Bhaiya Mere Rakhi Ke Bandhan Ko Nibhana
- Ye Raksha Bandhan Sabse Bada Tyauhaar Hai
- Resham Ki Dori Se
- MERI BEHNA
- Phoolon Ka Taaron Ka
Rakhi Quotes and messeges
- Hey Sis,
The world is dark, but you are not alone
No matter how hard the life goes, face it on your own
As no matter where ever you are, I’ll always be on your side
Always watching your back sis, always watching you rise.
- You bring me luck, you bring me smile,
You mark the love in me and appreciate my brighter side.
You are there for me when I need you,
You are the best sis and I’ll always be there for you.
- “A sister is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost.”
– Marion C. Garretty
- “What’s the good of news if you haven’t a sister to share it”?
– Jenny DeVries