Every festival has some story behind it, and so does Raksha Bandhan. Know multiple reasons for celebrating the Rakhi festival and customs followed by Hindus on this festival.
Raksha Bandhan is a day to celebrate the saga of love between brothers and sisters. Ancient stories behind Raksha Bandhan and related rituals make this festival much more interesting. Like every other festival, the realm turns extremely energetic and excited. Happy vibes all around, decorated shops, hustling markets, the excitement of the festivity, colorful Rakhis, tempting aroma of sweets, and beautifully wrapped rakhi gifts – that’s the kind of atmosphere you find around Rakhi.
Though it is a festival celebrated between siblings but the entire family participates in those blissful moments. From styling up in new outfits to arranging special gifts, pooja thali for Rakhi, and delicious delicacies to treat the taste buds of family members and guests, everything multiplies the zeal of the festivity manifold.
A tradition to preserve harmony and peace
The history of Raksha Bandhan has been rooted back in ancient times. Different periods have witnessed the significance of rakhi in different shades. The core essence of the festival has remained the same throughout signifying the love and responsibility of brothers and sisters towards each other. Sisters tie the thread of affection on the brother’s wrist and pray for his happy and prosperous life. In return, the brother promises to protect her against all the odds of life.
The beauty of this relationship is that it is not confined only to blood relations. Rather any lady tying a knot of Rakhi on a male’s wrist marks a timeless connection of protection and endearment. Many prominent short stories of Raksha Bandhan connections recite the true meaning of trustworthiness. Let us explore:
1. Raksha Bandhan to build healthy relationships among communities
Little did you know that Rakha Bandhan has been an impactful way to maintain friendly relations among different communities residing in India. The Nobel prize winner and freedom fighter Rabindranath Tagore suggested Hindus and Muslims strengthen their brotherhood and unity by following the Rakhi custom. Through this practice he intended to preserve social balance and communal harmony amid hard times, igniting hatred.
2. The rakhi connection described in Mahabharata
Another popular story behind Raksha Bandhan is described in the Hindu epic Mahabharata. It recites that once Lord Krishna got injured by the Sudarshan Chakra while killing Shishupal and suffered a cut on his hand. Draupadi immediately tore a piece of saree and tied it to the bleeding hand of Lord Krishna. From that moment, he promised to always protect her no matter what and welcomed her as a beloved sister. That marks the beginning of a protective bond between two people that is symbolized as a relation of Rakhi.
3. Impact of Rakhi beyond religious boundaries
It has been an unknown fact for a long that Humayun defeated the Sultan of Gujarat Bahadur Shah to fulfill his Rakhi promise. This story related to Raksha Bandhan dates back to the medieval period when the queen of Chittor, Rani Karnavati send a Rakhi to Humayun. She sought Humayun’s protection when Bahadur Shah attacked her kingdom.
Unfortunately, Humayun and his troop were in the middle of another fight at that time so they could not save the queen. But the emperor was so moved by this heartwarming gesture of the queen that he later defeated Bahadur Shah and handed over the kingdom to Rani Karnavati’s son Vikramjit. It is an unsung story of Raksha Bandhan between a Rajput queen and a Mughal emperor.
4. The Roots of Raksha Bandhan Beyond India
The origins of Raksha Bandhan belong to the Indian culture. However, it is celebrated in various parts of the world with the same enthusiasm. People from different religions and faiths celebrate Rakhi across Sri Lanka, Nepal, the Middle East, northern parts of Africa, Mauritius, and the USA. Attributed to its universal bond of love, protection, and harmony – generations of people on a global front have been following the custom of Rakhi.
Things to keep in mind while performing Rakhi rituals
1. Always tie rakhi to the right hand of your brother
It is believed that Rakhi should be tied in a clockwise direction as a symbol of progress and growth. Moreover, according to Ayurveda, the right hand regulates the three well-being elements of the body – i.e. Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. So, it is advised to tie rakhi on the right wrist always.
2. Holistic pooja thali for Rakhi
The essentials of a wholesome thali of pooja for rakhi include kumkum (Roli), chawal, Rakhi, sweets, diya, sandalwood, and incense sticks. Every auspicious occasion immense with pooja and Raksha Bandhan is also a sacred festival. So, it is a mandatory tradition to decorate a complete puja thali to pray for the long life of brothers and honor the love of a sister.
3. Tying Rakhi to bhabhi
Sisters tie Lumba to their sisters-in-law on rakhi in various parts of India. This tradition signifies that bhabhi is the caretaker of her husband and bears the responsibility for a brother’s well-being. Therefore, her well-being is important too, and tying Lumba means sisters pray for bhabhi’s protection as well.
When should you remove Rakhi?
Though brothers can remove the rakhi any day after Raksha Bandhan as no superstitious is attached to it. However, according to Maharashtrian culture, rakhi is ideally removed after 15 days from Raksha Bandhan. This day marks the celebration of the Pola festival when farmers worship God Marbot Dev.
Gifts to avoid while shopping for Rakhi
There are certain gift ideas that you should strictly avoid for rakhi. It is a pious occasion when things related to jinx must be kept away.
- White flowers bouquet
- Scissors and Knife sets
- Real-Leather products
- Non-veg food items
Perfect gifts for brothers on Rakhi
- Personalized faux leather wallets customized with the name
- Photo frames
- Handmade chocolate boxes
- Audio greeting cards
- Personalized caricatures
- Grooming kits
- Classy mug sets
Perfect gifts for sisters on Rakhi
- Premium quality handbags
- Personalized photo albums
- Customized jewelry
- Pretty dresses with fashion accessories
- Perfume set
- Chocolates and cakes
- Custom-made cushion covers
Gift meaningful gifts to your siblings to make their festival indeed special. Invest your time and efforts to curate on-demand gifts for them tailored to their preferences. Such gifting experience would remain with them till eternity.
Surprise your brother and sister who are miles away
Myriad online gift stores enable you to buy and send rakhi online to your siblings who are on the other side of the country. You can shop from a multitude of rakhi gifts within the comfort of your home and get them delivered to your brother or sister within a few clicks. Don’t let distance be a hurdle between your beloved sibling, leverage online rakhi sending facilities of shopping sites, and celebrate this festival joyfully.