Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Happy Rakshabandhan ( Rakhi ) - a must read article to know this festival

The festival of Raksha Bandhan is entirely dedicated to the love and affection shared between a brother and a sister. On this day, sisters pray for long life of their brothers and ask God to bless them with his blessings. Brothers, in turn, give them enticing rakhi gifts and promise to care life long. This custom has been there since time immemorial. Various other believes are associated with Rakhi and therefore, people follow certain custom and tradition to celebrate this festival.
The festival falls on the full moon day (Shravan Poornima) of the Shravan month of the Hindu calendar.. It is also called Rakhi Poornima in most of India.

Celebration Of Rakshabandhan:


Happy Rakshabandhan ( Rakhi ) - a must read article to know this festival

Ladies start the preparation at least a fortnight before the festival. In order to make the day special, they buy rakhis, rakhi gifts, rakhi pooja thalis, sweets, etc for making the day special. This is also an occasion for family get together where they collectively celebrate this sacred festival. Exchange of beautiful rakhi gifts among dear ones make this occasion a sweet remembrance for many years to come.

Tradition Of Rakshabandhan:


Happy Rakshabandhan ( Rakhi ) - a must read article to know this festival

The festival is marked by the tying of a rakhi, or holy thread, which comes in many colors and designs, by the sister on the right wrist of her brother. Sisters pray for long life of their brothers and ask God to bless them with his blessings. The brother in return offers a gift to his sister and vows to look after her as she presents sweets to him. The brother usually presents his sister with an envelope filled with money, though other presents such as saris and clothing can be given. The brother and sister traditionally feed one another sweets. These sweets include anything from Jalebi, Kaju Katli, and Burfi. Since Indian practices give cousins a status similar to siblings, girls and women often tie the rakhi to their male cousins as well (referred to as "cousin-brothers" in regional parlance) in several communities. Unrelated boys and men who are considered to be brothers (munh-bola bhai or adopted brothers) can be tied rakhis, provided they commit to a lifelong obligation to provide protection to the woman or girl.

Significance Of Rakshabandhan:

The festival of Rakhi has taken a broader significance worldwide as it spreads harmony and bring together the family members under one roof. Rakhi stands to strengthen the bond of love between brothers and sisters.

Rakhi Gift Ideas:


Happy Rakshabandhan ( Rakhi ) - a must read article to know this festival

Raksha Bandhan holds immense significance for brothers and sisters in India and so does Rakhi Gifts. Every year siblings scratch their heads for that bright and brilliant Rakhi Gift Idea. To make that tedious process a bit easy we are presenting some innovative Rakhi Gift Ideas for brothers and amazingly delightful gift ideas for sisters. Some practical tips on Rakhi Gift selection has also been included in the text to help you choose the most perfect and memorable Rakhi Gift for your sibling.
  • 1. Keep in mind the choice of your siblings. For example consider his / her hobbies and areas of interest.
  • 2. Think if there is anything your sibling has been planning to buy for a long time but has not managed to purchase it on his / her own. If yes, then surprise by making his / her wish come true sooner than expected.
  • 3. Ensure the gift is of good quality and trendy at the same time. This aspect holds a lot more importance in Raksha Bandhan as siblings attach a lot of emotions to Rakhi Gifts. For them Rakhi Gift is not just any other gift but a reflection of their siblings feelings for them.
  • 4. Don't go over and above your budget. Remember your feelings behind the gift are more important than the digits written on the gift tag. So restrict to your budget.
  • 1. For Trendy Brothers : 
    For brothers who love to sport a style statement some trendy gifts are desirable. One can go in for fancy goggles, mobile cases, deodorants, perfumes, watches and belts. A bracelet style Silver or Gold Rakhi will also be appreciated by them.
  • 2. For Elder and Sober Brothers:
    For big brothers an executive Shirt will be good Rakhi gift idea. You can select the shirt - plain, stripes or checks according to the taste of brother. Colour of the shirt too must be decided on the basis of your brother's choice not yours. Organisors, portfolio bags, designer pens, ties and cuff links are other ideas you can try.
  • 3. For Studious Brothers
    For bhaiyyas who are studying in school and college you can gift things that will be of benefit to them. How about a good reference book, some nice novels, trendy satchels or interesting CDs.
  • 4. For Married Brothers
    If your brother is married you can go in for household gifts like nice paintings, some crockery items or traditional Raksha Bandhan Gifts like box of sweets, dry fruits or chocolates.
  • 5. For Kid Brothers
    Pamper your kid brother with some games or games CDs. Or how about toys like cars or those representing their favourite cartoon characters. Chocolates, candies and other confectionery items will be relished by them.
  • 1. For Sisters who are fond of Jewelry
    Gift some nice jewelry items like rings, earrings or necklaces. You can go in for gold or diamonds if your budget suits otherwise artificial jewelry are a craze all over the world. Browse through some Rakhi Gifts sites and you will get ample of options.
  • 2. For Fashion Conscious Sisters
    Beaded and mirrored bags is an exciting and wonderful gift idea for sisters who are fashion conscious. Alternatively one can go in for nice perfumes, fancy tops or ethnic jewelry boxes.
  • 3. For Kid Sisters
    Little girls love to receive cute and huggable teddy bears, chocolates or some nice stationery items. You may also gift some novels or other reference books if she is fond of reading.
  • 4. For Married Sisters
    If your sister is married you can gift some household gifts like paintings or some fancy show piece. Perfume or jewelry items are other choices from which you can decide your Rakhi gift.


Mythical and Historical Occurrences and Mentions:

Ganesh had two sons, Shubh and Labh. On Raksha Bandhan, Ganesh's sister visited and tied a rakhi on Ganesh's wrist. 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.
Another incident from the epic Mahabharat concerns Krishna and Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas. She had once torn a strip of silk off her sari and tied it around Krishna's wrist to stanch the bleeding from a battlefield wound. Krishna was touched by her action and declared her to be his sister, even though they were unrelated. He promised to repay the debt and then spent the next 25 years doing just that. Draupadi, in spite of being married to five great warriors and being a daughter of a powerful monarch, trusted and depended wholly on Krishna. Krishna repaid the debt of love during the "Cheer-Haran" (literally "clothing-removing") of Draupadi, which occurred in the assembly of King Dhritarashtra when Yudhisthira lost her to the Kauravas in gambling. At that time, Krishna indefinitely extended her saree through divine intervention, so it could not be removed, to save her honor. This is how he honored his rakhi vow towards Draupadi.
According to a legend the Demon King Bali was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu had taken up the task to guard his kingdom leaving his own abode in Vaikunth. Goddess Lakshmi wished to be with her lord back in her abode. She went to Bali disguised as a woman to seek refuge till her husband came back. During the Shravan Purnima celebrations, Lakshmi tied the sacred thread to the King. Upon being asked, she revealed who she was and why she was there. The king was touched by her goodwill for his family and her purpose and requested the Lord to accompany her. He sacrificed all he had for the Lord and his devoted wife.This thread was yellow that made yellow Raksha Bandhan popular among brothers and sisters. Thus, devotion to the Lord. It is said that since then it has been a tradition to invite sisters in Shravan Purnima for the thread tying ceremony or the Raksha Bandhan
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. Yama was so moved by the serenity of the occasion that he declared that whoever gets a rakhi tied from his sister and promised her protection, will become immortal.
A popular narrative that is centered around Rakhi is that of Rani Karnavati of Chittor and Mughal Emperor Humayun, which dates to 1535 CE. When Rani Karnavati, the widowed queen of the king of Chittor, realised that she could not defend against the invasion by the Sultan of Gujarat, Bahadur Shah, she sent a Rakhi to Emperor Humayun. Touched, the Emperor immediately set off with his troops to defend Chittor. Humayun arrived too late, and Bahadur Shah managed to sack the Rani's fortress. Karnavati, along with a reported 13,000 other women in the fortress, carried outJauhar on March 8, 1535, killing themselves to avoid dishonor while the men threw the gates open and rode out on a suicidal charge against Bahadur Shah's troops. When he reached Chittor, Humayun evicted Bahadur Shah from fort and restored the kingdom to Karnavati's son, Vikramjit Singh. Although contemporary commentators and memoirs do not mention the Rakhi episode and some historians have expressed skepticism about it, it is mentioned in one mid-seventeenth century Rajasthani account.

Other festivals on this day:

This is also celebrated as Shri Baladeva birth Ceremony. Lord Krishna's elder Brother Prabhu Balarama was born on this Poornima.
While Raksha Bandhan is celebrated all over the country, different parts of the country mark the day in different ways. In Nepal, Raksha Bandhan is celebrated on shravan purnima. It is also called Janai Purnima (Janai is sacred thread and purnima means full moon). Janai is changed in this day, in Brahmins and Kshetry families. A sacred thread is tied on wrist by senior family members and relatives. Nepalese people enjoy this festival, eating its special food "Kwati", a soup of sprout of seven different grains.
Rakhi is celebrated as Rakhi Purnima in North India. The word "Purnima" means a full moon night.
Rakhi is also celebrated as Gamha Purnima in Odisha. On this date, all the domesticated Cows and Bullocks are decorated and worshipped. Various kinds of country-made cakes called Pitha and sweets mitha are made and distributed within families, relatives and friends. In Oriya Jagannath culture, the lord Krishna & Radha enjoy the beautiful rainy season of Shravana starting from Shukla Pakhya Ekadashi (usually 4 days before Purnima) and ending on Rakhi Purnima with a festival called Jhulan Yatra. Idols of Radha-Krishna are beautifully decorated on a swing called Jhulan, hence the name Jhulan Yatra.
In western India and parts of Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Goa this day is celebrated as Narali Purnima. On this day, an offering of a coconut (naral in Marathi) is made to the sea, as a mark of respect to Lord Varuna, the God of the Sea. Narali Purnima marks the beginning of the fishing season and the fishermen, who depend on the sea for a living, make an offering to Lord Varuna so that they can reap bountiful fish from the sea.
Jandhyam is Sanskrit for sacred thread, and Poornima denotes the full moon in Sanskrit. The people of the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, celebrate Raksha Bandhan and Janopunyu on the Shravani Purnima, it is a day on which people change their janeu(sacred thread). On this day, the famous Bagwal fair is held at Devidhura in district Champawat. Punyu in Kumauni means Purnima or full moon it is the purnima in which the sacred thread Janeuor Janyo is ceremonially changed. The Raksha Bandhan celebrations are similar all across North India. The thread changing ceremony is done all over India.
In central parts of India such as Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkand and Bihar this day is celebrated as Kajari Purnima. It is an important day for the farmers and women blessed with a son. On the ninth day after Shravana Amavasya, the preparations of the Kajari festival start. This ninth day is called Kajari Navami and varied rituals are performed by women who have sons until Kajri Purnima or the full moon day.
In parts of Gujarat, this day is celebrated as Pavitropana. On this holiday, people perform the grand pooja or the worship of Lord Shiva. It is the culmination of the prayers done throughout the year.
According to Bengali Culture and Celebration, in the state of West Bengal (India), this day is also called Jhulan Purnima. Prayers and puja of Lord Krishna and Radha are performed there. Sisters tie rakhi to Brothers and bestow immortality. Political Parties, Offices, Friends, Schools to colleges, Street to Palace celebrate this day with a new hope for a good relationship. Brahmins in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Konkan, and Odisha change their sacred threads on the same day (Janayu, called as Poonal in Tamil, Jandhyam in Sanskrit).

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