Raksha Bandhan – The eternal celebration of sibling love
India has always put great emphasis on the bond of family, none more so than the one between a brother and sister. A brother always assumes the role of a friend, as well as a father, protecting his sister from all harm, and ensuring that she is always happy. The festival of Raksha Bandhan is celebrated each year by Hindus to reinforce this duty and to give siblings a chance to develop an even closer bond.
Some facts about Raksha Bandhan
Raksha Bandhan is held each year on the day of the full moon of the Shravan month as per the Hindu calendar. It is celebrated with much gusto all over the country, and men often try to visit their sisters, irrespective of where they are living. Sweets are the traditional gift this day, although chocolates have become a very popular choice as well.
The Rakhi serves as a token reminder of the promise that every brother makes to his sister on this day; the promise of protection. Over the years, the Rakhi that is tied by the sister to the arms of her brother has taken many forms. From a simple band made from many threads that are weaved together, to elaborate and often fancy wrist accessories, the Rakhi has seen many changes, although its significance remains unchanged. Lumba and Toran are also two very popular accessories and have come to define Raksha Bandhan for millions of Indians. For decorating homes, door hangings are also commonly used and add a touch of festivity to the home.
At the end of the day, Raksha Bandhan is about the undying love that siblings have for each other. All kinds of gifts are exchanged, copious amounts of sweets are consumed, and the entire family comes together to spend some fun filled yet meaningful time with each other.
Janam Ashtami – Close ties with Raksha Bandhan
Janam Asthtami, the celebration of the birthday of Lord Krishna is another festival celebrated by millions of Hindus, and has special ties with Raksha Bandhan because of a legend about how Lord Krishna once intervened to save the honor of her assumed sister Draupadi from the hands of the Kauravas. The festival is celebrated with much gusto. People fast all day and at the end of the day they perform an Abhishek ceremony of the idol of Lord Krishna, bathing him with milk and offering special incense, following which they break their fast. It is a truly remarkable Hindu festival and falls shortly after Raksha Bandhan.