Raksha Bandhan is observed on August 11 this year, and we’re here to show you how you can enjoy this celebration. Did you know that the festival of Raksha Bandhan can be found mentioned in texts that are 6,000 years old? Raksha Bandhan is a Hindu festival that celebrates the bond between a brother and a sister. Traditionally, the sister ties a sacred thread on the wrist of the brother. The brother gives his sister presents and takes an oath to protect her and keep her out of harm’s way at all times. The ritual is then followed by giving each other homemade sweets.
History of Raksha Bandhan
There are many stories revolving around the origin of Raksha Bandhan. One account tells that Raksha Bandhan might have started during the time of the “Mahabharata,” an epic poem and one of the two major events in Hindu mythology. The story dates back to an incident when Krishna cut his finger and Draupadi helped him.
Draupadi cut a piece of cloth from her saree and tied it around the wound to prevent further bleeding. After this act of sisterly love, Krishna pledged to protect her as a brother. The cloth later became a thread and a symbol of the bond between a brother and a sister.
There are other stories suggesting that Raksha Bandhan may have become popular in the third century when Alexander infuriated the Indian King Puru. Alexander’s wife, aware of the Raksha Bandhan festival, approached King Puru with a rakhi. King Puru then decided not to wage war against Alexander.
Some people say that the festival might have spread further in the 16th century when Rani (Queen) Karnavati of Chittor realized that she could not defend the castle against the invasion of Bahadur Shah (Gujrat), so she sent a bracelet to Mughal emperor Humayun.
Indians all over the world celebrate this festival with great enthusiasm. It is a day for families to come together and involves special prayers (‘puja’). It is considered an auspicious day.
Raksha Bandhan timeline
Draupadi ties a piece of saree to Krishna's wound.
Raksha Bandhan is celebrated by people of all religions.
Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore encourages men and women to tie rakhi to unite people of different communities/religions, promote unity and spread hope.
Raksha Bandhan continues to be celebrated by millions of Indians all around the world.
Raksha Bandhan FAQs
Is Raksha Bandhan a public holiday?
Raksha Bandhan in India is not a public holiday and is an optional holiday. Some offices and schools declare a day off.
When can you take the rakhi off?
Though there are no specific rules as to when the rakhi should be taken off, it is suggested that the rakhi be taken off on the fifteenth day after Raksha Bandhan, the thanksgiving festival of Pola in Maharashtra.
Which hand is the rakhi tied on?
The rakhi is usually tied to the wrist of the right hand of the brother. However, it is not a strict rule.
How to Observe Raksha Bandhan
Tie a rakhi
It is time to be a good sister. Buy a rakhi from your nearest store or get it online. Take part in the ‘pooja’ (prayer) if you follow Indian traditions. Tie the rakhi on your brother's wrist. You can also put tilak (saffron powder) on your brother's forehead. Remember to collect your gift from your brother.
Share it on social media
Let everyone know the importance of this day. Take pictures of you tying a rakhi on your brother's wrist and share them online. You can also write posts, encouraging others to take part in the celebrations.
Make traditional Indian sweets
There are many Indian sweets you can make. Try making ladoos, jalebis, gulab jamun, rasmalai, or kaju katli. You can also buy them if you have a sweet shop that sells these Indian sweets.
5 Facts About Rakhi That Will Blow Your Mind
They are made with different materials
Rakhis are made of threads of cotton, silk, satin, etc.
They come in different types
Rakhis come in different forms like beaded rakhis, bracelet types, pearl rakhis, and zari work rakhis.
There are rakhis for different purposes
Lumba rakhis are tied by women to their sisters-in-law.
They are mostly in Kolkata
The city of Kolkata, India produces the highest number of rakhis in the country.
Rakhis are given to devotees too
In Jainism, the temple priest might give rakhis to devotees on Raksha Bandhan.
Why Raksha Bandhan is Important
It celebrates the bond between a brother and a sister
There aren't many festivals in the world that celebrate the relationship of a brother and a sister. Raksha Bandhan provides an opportunity for brothers and sisters to celebrate their affection and do something for each other.
It gives us a chance to spend time with family
This day brings everyone in the family closer. The day begins with poojas, the preparation of traditional delicacies, and spending time with family.
It is a day of learning
This day allows us to learn about different cultures and traditions. For people who are not familiar with Raksha Bandhan, it is an excellent opportunity to learn and participate in the event and experience something out of the ordinary.
Raksha Bandhan dates