Raksha Bandhan is a festival that is celebrated on the full moon day in the month of Shravan according to the Hindu Lunar calendar. This day is observed as the day of siblings as on this day sisters and brothers come together to express their love for each other and also pray for their well being. The sisters tie a knot of rakhi on the wrist of her brother, who promises to protect his sister from the evil. Today, this festival is not only celebrated among the siblings, but also between friends and the close ones to whom the people want to spread their message of love and care.
Raksha Bandhan is the day of love and protection. This day is mainly celebrated between siblings to bestow their love and affection for each other. Sisters tie Rakhi to her brother and pray to god for his well being, and the brother pledges to protect her from the evil. People also tie rakhi to their friends and other close ones to spread love and care to them.
But, if we go into our history and mythological legends, we will find that Rakhi doesn't not only mean a symbol of love and protection among brothers and sisters only. In the legend of Indra and Indrani, Indra's consort Indrani ties a sacred thread on his wrist to protect him from the demons. In the legend of Indra and Indrani, Indra's consort Indrani ties a sacred thread on his wrist to protect him from the demons. This story tells us that Rakhi was used to protect our close ones from evil. It was also used as a means to bring the Hindus and Muslims together during the Bengal partition that took place during the struggle of Independence in India. Rabindranath Tagore used rakhi to bring harmony and brotherhood between the two religions to cease the decision of parting Bengal by the British.
The festival of Raksha Bandhan is mainly celebrated for protection. There are various stories and legends in Hindu Mythology as well as in history, where Gods have tied the rakhi to protect their loved ones for their protection. Here are the stories:
Indra Indrani: This legend tells us that Rakhi is a sacred thread of protection and it cannot only be tied to the brothers for protection, but also to the ones we love. The story of Indra and Indrani takes place in the Vedic period when a battle of the gods and demons took place. Indrani, the companion of Indra, tied a sacred thread on the wrist of her husband for protection against the evil demons.
Krishna and Draupadi: In the Mahabharata, Lord Krishna had hurt his finger when he had sent his Sudarshan Chakra from his finger to behead Shishupala. Draupadi then bandaged his finger with a piece of cloth from her saree. Lord Krishna who was moved by her deed promised to protect her from all odds.
Yama Yamuna: In this story, Yama tied a sacred thread on the wrist of her brother Yamuna to protect him from the curse of dead and mutilation from his stepmother, Chhaya. He told his mother that he knew of her secret to which she got furious and gave this curse to him, which was lifted because of the thread.
King Bali and Goddess Laxmi: Goddess Laxmi disguised herself as a Brahmin woman and tied a rakhi to King Bali on the day of Shravan Purnima. She then revealed herself and asked the king to free his companion, Lord Vishnu and let him return to Vaikunth.
Santoshi Maa and Lord Ganesha: This legend is considered to be the reason behind the celebration of Raksha Bandhan. Lord Ganesha had two sons who asked him to bring a sister who would tie rakhi to them. Ganesha then created Santoshi Maa who tied rakhi to his sons.
Raksha Bandhan is celebrated on the full moon day in the month of Shravan (August) according to the Hindu calendar. This is why is the festival is also called Rakhi Purnima. There are many other festivals that are celebrated on this day by the different communities in India such as people in south celebrate Rakhi Purnima as Avani Avattam, and in some regions of North India, this day is celebrated as Kajari Purnima. Following are some of the rituals and festivals celebrated across India on this day.
Avani Avattam: This day is observed by the Brahmin community. They exchange threads called 'janeu' and pray to their ancestors for the forgiveness of their sins and give offerings to them to thank them for their teachings.
Kajri Purnima: This is celebrated in the north and central part of India. On this day farmers and mothers worship goddess Bhagwati for good crops and the well being of their son.
Pavitropana: The devotees of Shiva make a thread from the mixture of panchgaivya and place it on the Shivalinga.
Nariyal Purnima: In the coastal regions of West India, fishermen celebrate this festival by offering nariyal or coconut to the Sea god, Varuna and pray for their good sea trade.
Few days before Raksha Bandhan, sisters shop from one place to another in search of striking rakhi and sweets for their brothers. They also buy other things that are required for the ritual like roli chawal, pooja thali, coconut, etc. The brothers, on the other hand, buy gifts for their sisters.
On the day of Raksha Bandhan, everyone wakes up early and take a bath. They then perform puja and do the aarti of the Gods. Then, the sisters apply a teeka of roli and chawal on the forehead of their brothers, tie the rakhi and give them sweets to eat. Brothers then give gifts to their sisters and they both have a meal together.
This year, Raksha Bandhan will be celebrated on 30th August 2023. Following are the muhurat timings for the celebration of this auspicious festival:
The following table shows the dates of Raksha Bandhan for the next five years:
Following is the mantra in Sanskrit that is chanted while tying rakhi on the brother's wrist.
येन भादो बली राजा दानवेन्द्रो महाबलः |
तेन त्वानामिभाद्नामी त्वामाभिबध्नामी रक्षे माचल माचल ||
Meaning – "I am tying this Raksha Bandhan to you that was tied to the Demon King Bali. Oh rakshaa please do not move and waver."
On the day of Raksha Bandhan, following are some heartfelt rakhi themed messages that you can send to your brother and sisters and express your love for him or her.
The festival of Raksha Bandhan is celebrated by tying a rakhi to the brother for his well being and protection. There are a variety of rakhis out there in the market as well as online which have a unique look and meaning of its own. Here we have listed down various kinds of rakhis and their meanings.
It is in the ritual of Raksha Bandhan when the sister ties rakhi to the brother, he has to give a gift to his sister. If you are confused about selecting a gift for your sister, then we have listed down a list of return gifts for sister that you can give to her on the day of Raksha Bandhan.
Whenever any special occasion arises, we always dress up to look the best on that special day. Raksha Bandhan is an auspicious festival that also requires dressing up for the celebration. On this day, people wake up early in the morning, take a bath, and dress up to get ready to celebrate the festival. But, sometimes they get confused in picking an outfit for the occasion. So, here we have some ideas for both men and women to consider for dressing up on this special occasion.