Rakhi is an auspicious festival that is celebrated in different parts of the world in various ways. You can choose to make the day special for your siblings by gifting them with presents that you can choose from our website. This article discusses the traditional procedure that is prevalent in different parts of the country. Read to know more.
Raksha Bandhan, more popularly known as Rakhi, is an age-old festival that celebrates the bond of love between a brother and a sister. Sisters tie the sacred thread called 'Rakhi" on the wrist of their brothers or send Rakhi online to India if they are away from home. The popular traditions that are followed on this day are listed below.
Rakhi is an important festival in most Indian households. It is not just about a sister tying the rakhi on her brother’s wrist. The gods are also appeased at the beginning of this day through prayers and offerings. Families wake up early in the morning and bathe to purify themselves before making these arrangements.
2. Preparing the Rakhi Thali
The sister prepares a thali with Roli (vermilion), Chawal (rice), Diya (earthen lamp), sweets, and the rakhi thread. Rakhi has an enormous emotional value for many. The rakhi thread is often made by the sister or if not made then bought by the sister, hence when they are not around they can prepare for the day by sending rakhi to India. The handmade rakhis add to the charm of this festival of brother-sister love.
3. Following the Rituals
The rituals followed on Rakhi are done on a predetermined auspicious time. This varies from year to year depending on the lunisolar positions. The sister begins the celebration by applying Tilak on her brother’s forehead. The Tilak is made of the Roli and Chawal that is there on the thali. She then ties the holy thread around her brother’s wrist while chanting a prayer for his long and healthy life.
4. Tying the Sacred Thread
The sacred thread is tied to the right wrist of the brother. it is considered auspicious and traditional according to Hindu mythology. According to Ayurveda science, scholars found that this ancient system advocates the use of the right hand for tying rakhi because it holds the belief that Vata, Pitta, and Kapha get regulated. This is why the brothers extend their right wrist while their sisters tie the Rakhi and bless him.
The tying of the Rakhi is followed by an Aarti. The sister wards off all evil energies from around her brother through this. She again chants a prayer while performing the Aarti. In the end, she seeks the blessing of her elder brother and blesses the younger ones.
6. Exchanging Gifts
Exchanging gifts has become an important tradition of Rakhi. The sisters receive special gifts from their brothers on this day brothers even send rakhi gifts to India if they can not make it home for the auspicious day. The gifts symbolize the affection that a brother has for his sister. Right from a tiny box of chocolates to an elaborate set of jewelry, Rakhi gifts come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
6. Indigenous Traditions Followed on Rakhi
Rakhi is a festival that is celebrated in varied ways in India and its neighboring countries. Though the celebrations and rituals vary in different places, the essence of this festival remains the same.
West Bengal and Odisha (Jhulan Purnima) - West Bengal and Odisha observes a 13-day festival called Jhulan Jatra which ends on the day of Rakhi. This festival celebrates the love that Radha and Krishna shared. These 2 states have a large population of Vaishnavs and Krishna followers, and hence the grand celebration of this festival. Singing and dancing is also an integral part of this occasion.
Maharashtra (Narali Poornima) - The Koli community of fishermen from Maharashtra celebrate Narali Poornima on the day of Rakhi. The people worship Lord Varuna - the Hindu Sea God to seek his blessings and protection while at sea. As a tradition, they offer coconuts to the lord by throwing them into the sea.
Haryana (Salono) - Salono is a festival calebrated in Haryana on Rakhi Poornima. This is quite similar to rakhi as a holy thread is tied on this day. But the difference is, a priest ties it on people’s hands instead of the sister. The motive behind this ritual is the same as Rakhi - wishing good health of a person.
Nepal (Janai Purnima or Rishitarpani) - Janai Purnima or Rishitarpani is a festival where the men change their Janai - the holy thread they wear across their chests. This festival is celebrated by both the Hindus and the Buddhists of Nepal on the day of Rakhi.