Incredibly beautiful and heart touching festival of Raksha Bandhan or Rakhi is also known as Rakhi Purnima owing to its celebration on a full moon day in the month of 'Shravana'. Raksha Bandhan is celebrated with great fervor and enthusiasm by brothers and sisters all over the country. This festival is celebrated with abundant faith and devotion on the day of Shravana Purnima which is regarded as an immensely auspicious occasion in the Vedas and Puranas as it signifies love and affection that exists between a brother and sister.
On this splendid occasion, women across India offer their prayers to Gods for the well-being of their brothers and other loved ones. Raksha Bandhan is a festival which epitomizes the bond of pure love between siblings. Lauded as one of the most auspicious festivals in the Indian culture, this festival observes sisters tying beautiful rakhis on the wrists of their brothers worshipping to God for their long life and prosperity. The brothers in return surprise their loving sisters with wonderful gifts and promise to give life-long protection to them.
Before tying Rakhi on the brother's wrist, a little packet is required to be made of the following items-
Tie this packet or potli on the right wrist of the brother while chanting the following mantra or hymn-
ॐ येन बद्धो बली राजा दानवेन्द्रो महाबलः।
तेन त्वामपि बध्नामि रक्षे मा चल मा चल।।
("I tie you with the same Raksha thread which tied the most powerful, the king of courage, the king of demons, Bali. O Raksha (Raksha Sutra), please don't move and keep fixed throughout the year.")
This potli can also be worshipped by placing it on the Kalash before tying it around your brother's wrist.
The festival of Rakhi Purnima is associated with several mythological and historical legends that demonstrate the observance of this festival in earlier times. Some of the popular ones are-
India is a land of cultural diversity where every festival is celebrated in different style following different rituals and known by other names, but what remains constant are the sentiments with which they are celebrated. Rakhi Purnima or Raksha Bandhan is also celebrated in different parts of the country with many names and also in a variety of rituals and prayers.
Rakhi Purnima, known as Putrada Ekadasha or Pavitropana in Gujarat, is celebrated by worshipping Lord Shiva on a full moon day (Ekadashi) to purify the soul off the sins committed in the past. The people of Gujarat offer their prayers to God by pouring water on the Shivalinga on every Monday in the month of Sharavana. They even soak cotton twisted filament in the holy panchagaivya, made with cow's ghee, milk, curd, urine and excreta, to tie around the Shivalinga.
Avani Avittam, another version of Rakhi Purnima, is an important ritual observed by the Brahmin community of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Orissa, and Maharashtra. This occasion is also observed on a full moon day or Sharvana Purnima falling in the Hindu Panchang, the same day on which the festival of Raksha Bandhan is also celebrated. Avani Avittam is a sacred thread or "Janeyu" ceremony that stands for the commencement of the Brahmin's spiritual journey. During the rituals, they take a holy bath, perform Janeyu, and pledge to perform the duties of a Brahmin as depicted in the holy books. This is why Avani Avittam is also called 'Janeyu Purnima' or 'Jandhyala Purnima'.
The festival of Rakhi Purnima is known as Kajari Purnima in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and some parts of Uttar Pradesh in the Central India. The preparations of this festival begin on the ninth day (Kajari Navami) after Shravana Amavasya. The rituals of this festival are usually observed by women with sons. During the preparations, women bring earth in leaf cups from the fields and sow barley or wheat in it. They keep these cups in rooms devoid of any light, fresh air, and sunlight and worship them for seven days till purnima. The walls of these rooms are washed with mud and cow dung and are decorated with patterns made with rice liquid. The figures painted on the walls are of a house, a mongoose, a child in a cradle, and a woman holding a pitcher are mandatory figures. On the evening of Kajari Purnima, they carry these cups on their heads to ponds or lakes and immerse the cups in them. Women keep fasts on this day to bless their sons with a healthy and long life. On this day, people also worship Goddess Bhagwati and seek her blessings to attain good harvest.
Nariyal Purnima is the commencement of the new fishing season for the fisherman community in of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa and Karnataka. During the festival of Rakhi Purnima or Nariyal Purnima, the people dependent on seas for their livelihood offer coconuts to Lord Varuna, the Lord of the sea, by throwing them into the sea as a part of the rituals. As a coconut is considered as an auspicious offering to Gods, therefore it is offered to the sea God to ask for his blessings. The coconut pieces and solid coconut are distributed as 'prasad' by the fishermen. Coconut rice is the prime dish of this day.
Haryana: The people of Haryana celebrate Salano on the day of Rakhi Purnima. On this day, the priests tie good luck amulets on the wrists of people to ward off negativities from their lives.
Jammu: A kite flying ceremony takes place after the rituals of Rakhi gets over in Jammu.