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.
Significance of Raksha Bandhan
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.
Raksha Bandhan Legends
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.
When is Raksha Bandhan Celebrated?
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.
How is Raksha Bandhan Celebrated?
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.
Raksha Bandhan Muhurat
This year, Raksha Bandhan will be celebrated on 19th August 2024. Following are the muhurat timings for the celebration of this auspicious festival:
|Raksha Bandhan Ceremony||Timings|
|Thread Ceremony Time|| 01:30 PM to 09:08 PM|
|Purnima Tithi Begins || from 03:04 AM on 19th August|
|Purnima Tithi Ends || 11:55 PM on 19th August|
Raksha Bandhan Dates for the Next 5 Years
The following table shows the dates of Raksha Bandhan for the next five years:
|2024||19th August|| Monday|
|2025||9th August|| Saturday|
|2026||28th August|| Friday|
|2027||17th August|| Tuesday|
|2028||5th August|| Saturday|
Raksha Bandhan Mantra
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."
Raksha Bandhan Messages
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.
- कामयाबी तुम्हारे कदम चूमे,
खुशियाँ तुम्हारे चारो ओर हो
पर भगवान् से इतनी प्रार्थना करने के लिए,
तुम कुछ तो कमिशन दो!
मेरे प्यारे (पर कंजूस) भईया,
हैप्पी रक्षा बंधन!!
- She is someone who cares for me
She is someone who loves me
She is someone who understands me
She is someone who knows my pain
She is my dearest sister!
Happy Raksha Bandhan to You!
- You are the best brother who anyone could want
I am very happy to have you in my life
Thank you for your love, care, and scolding
A very Happy Raksha Bandhan to you
- I feel so blessed
to have a sister like you in my life
who is always there by my side
You are like an angel sent from above
Thanks, sister! Happy Raksha Bandhan to You!!
- रिश्ता है जन्मो का हमारा
भरोसा का और प्यार का
चलो इसे बांधे भईया
राखी के अटूट बंधन में
तुम्हे रक्षा बंधन के बहुत बहुत शुभ कामनाये!!
Types of Rakhi and Their Meanings
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.
- Zardosi Rakhi – These rakhis are designed in the style of zardosi which is made using silver wires, decorative stones, velvet satin, and many other decorative materials.
- Spiritual Rakhi – Spiritual rakhis are the ones which are made in the shape of Gods or have religious symbols on it. Some spiritual rakhis are Om rakhis, Ganesha rakhis, Rudraksha rakhis, Ek Omkar rakhi, etc.
- Kid's Rakhi – Kid's rakhi are designed with cartoon characters such as Chhota Bheem, Doraemon, Ben10, Barbie, Tom, and Jerry, etc. These kinds of rakhis are ideal for little brothers.
- Lumba Rakhi – Lumba rakhis are designer rakhis which are tied on the bangles of Bhabhis or sisters. It is a common tradition in the Marwari community.
- Handcrafted Rakhi – Handcrafted rakhis are made by the sisters themselves. They use different handicraft materials to make rakhis such as craft gemstones, ribbons, colored paper, etc.
Return Rakhi Gifts for Sisters
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.
- Apparels – On the auspicious day of Raksha Bandhan, you can give kurtas, sarees and many other types of apparel that she likes to wear.
- Cosmetics – If she loves wearing make-up, then you can give her a lipstick, eyeliner or any cosmetic item of her favorite brand. You can also give a hamper of cosmetics to her.
- Pieces of Jewelry – You can also give a necklace set, earrings, bracelets, anklets, or any other piece of jewelry to wish her Happy Raksha Bandhan.
- Soft Toys – If your sister loves soft toys, then you can gift teddy bear or plushies of cartoon characters to her.
- Mugs – Does your sister like drinking coffee or tea or any other beverage? Then on this festival, gift a designer mug to her in which she sips her favorite drink and remembers you.
Outfit Ideas for 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.
When it comes to the festive occasion, then a traditional outfit can never go wrong. It's good to celebrate our festivals with our traditional attires. So, when choosing tradition wear, you can go for Anarkali suit, saree, salwar kurta, etc.
- Indo Western Fusion
If you are willing to wear something unique on this day, then you can go for a fusion of traditional and western wear. You can wear a kameez with a skirt and skip the dupatta, or you can wear a kurta with jeggings or palazzo.
- Kurta Pyjama
Men can also wear traditional kurta pajama on this auspicious festival for celebration. If you do not like to dress up too much, then you can wear pastel colored kurta pajama that will look great on you.