– is celebrated as a symbol of unbreakable bond between a brother and sister
Significance of Raksha Bandhan
The festival of Raksha Bandhan is celebrated is celebrated on Purnima (full moon) of Shraavan Maas. This year (2011) it was celebrated on 13th August 2011. Rakshabandhan is made from two words : Raksha & Bandhan , which means a bond of safety . This day a brother makes a promise of taking over a sister’s obligations!
The festival is observed by Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs. The central ceremony involves the tying of a rakhi (sacred thread) by a sister on her brother’s wrist. This symbolizes the sister’s love and prayers for her brother’s well-being, and the brother’s lifelong vow to protect her.
Raksha Bandhan & History
The festival grew in popularity after Rani Karnavati, the widowed queen of Chittor, sent a rakhi to the Mughal emperor Humayun when she required his help.
The tale of the deity Santoshi Mata and the narrative of her creation on Raksha Bandhan day, was popularized in the 1975 Bollywood blockbuster Jai Santoshi Maa. Ganesh had two sons, Shubh and Labh. On Raksha Bandhan, Ganesh’s sister visited and tied a rakhi on Ganesh’s wrist. Feelin and his two wives, Riddhi and Siddhi, for a sister. Finally, Ganesh conceded the demand, and Santoshi Ma (literally the Mother Goddess of Satisfaction) was created by divine flames that emerged from Riddhi and Siddhi
Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas had once torn a strip of silk off her sari and tied it around Krishna’s wrist to staunch the bleeding from a battlefield wound. Krishna was touched by her action and declared her to be his sister, even though they were unrelated .
According to another legend, Raksha Bandhan was a ritual followed by Lord Yama (the Lord of Death) and his sister Yamuna, (the river in northern India). Yamuna tied rakhi to Yama and bestowed immortality.
When Alexander the Great invaded India in 326 BC, Roxana (or Roshanak, his wife) sent a sacred thread to Porus, asking him not to harm her husband in battle
At younger age brothers would give cash or chocolates but now with the exposure that we have to brands and lifestyle products, the gifting range has gotten wider and people are more open to experimenting with gifts for the sisters!
Cadbury’s has even come out with a special Rakhi Celebrations pack to celebrate this popular festival in India!