Raksha Bandhan date 2017, history and Significance
Raksha Bandhan, which will be on Monday , 7 August 2017, this year, is a special ancient Indian festival that is celebrated all over the country and abroad too. This celebration is about the bond between a brother and sister. Sisters tie a thread, which is lovingly called rakhi, on their brother’s wrist on this day. This rakhi signifies love and well-being of the brother. On the other hand, brothers promise to always protect their sisters from any evil or danger. The ritual also has an exchange of sweets and gifts.
What is the significance of rakhi festival?
Raksha Bandhan is mainly rejoiced in India, but it is also celebrated in other parts of the world where there are Hindus, Sikhs and Jains. The festival is also called Rakhi or Rakhi Poornima, and it falls on the day of full moon. The name means tie of protection, which is exactly what sisters do during this time.
Other than blood-related siblings, there are also men and women, who celebrate this festival as they believe in Rakhi. Many girls tie a rakhi to their father too because he protects them from the evil. You can celebrate rakhi with anyone you think is your sister or brother whether you are biologically connected or not. This festive event has no rules or regulations!
History of Raksha Bandhan
Not everyone knows how Raksha Bandhan started and what are the historical stories behind it? Well, here are some ancient tales about the festival.
1. Lord Indra and Indrani’s story -It is said that during the ancient era, when there was a war between all the Gods and the demons, the demons had disgraced Lord Indra. At that moment, his wife tied a rakhi to Lord Indra, which she had gotten from Lord Vishnu. Indrani did this to protect her husband from all the demons and the thread showed its magic. Since it was the day of Shravan Purnima, Raksha Bandhan is henceforth rejoiced on Shravan days only.
2. The Krishna and Draupadi story -It is said that once when Lord Krishna was enjoying his time flying a kite, he cut his finger accidentally. At that moment, Draupadi cut out a small portion of her saree and put it around his finger to stop the bleeding. To return the favour, Lord Krishna promised to keep any evil away from Draupadi. And as we all know that Lord Krishna was the one, who came to the rescue for Draupadi when she suffered the Cheer Haran. He multiplied her saree, which was never ending.
3. The Alexander and Porus story – When Alexander the Great invaded our country, his wife had sent a special sacred Rakhi to the Katoch King, Porus. Once he received the Rakhi, he made a promise to Roxana (Alexander’s wife) that he will always safeguard her and her husband too. He restrained during the battle when he was about to end Alexander’s life. He saw the Rakhi, which was tied on his wrist and stepped back.These three are the most popular historical stories told years ago. They clearly show how strong a Rakhi can be for a brother when tied from the sister. Following these stories, people started creating rituals for this festival. Read on to know about how the festival is celebrated.
How is Raksha Bandhan celebrated?
Raksha Bandhan can be celebrated in various ways, and it all depends on how you want to rejoice this family occasion. But there are certain rituals you have to follow in steps to complete the thread tying ceremony.
1. The first thing is preparing and buying rakhis for the brother while the brothers have to buy gifts for their sisters.
2. Once you are all decked up for the occasion, the ceremony begins with the sister putting a red tikka on the brother’s forehead.
3. After that, she does a little pooja of her brother and ties him the rakhi, both the siblings exchange sweets.
4. Lastly, the brother gives his gift to the sister while touching her feet. Not every religion follows the feet touching part but most of them do.
Post all the sisters have tied their rakhis to the brothers; there is a small family gathering with food and fun.
Rakhi is celebrated all over India and also in Nepal. Indians living outside the country often courier their rakhis to their brothers. Another ritual that many houses follow is tying rakhi to the father. Girls who do not have any brothers often tie the thread to their father’s arm to keep him away from any danger.
Preparations for rakhi
1. Fancy rakhis and all the sweets are made before Shravan Poornima. According to the rituals, families get ready during the morning time to start all the celebrations. Raksha Bandhan is usually a gala event, which is started in the day time and not during the early evening time.
2. The pooja thali should have kumkum, rice, a diya lit up during the ceremony and some sweets for the brother.
3. Usually, special sweets and big meals are prepared during this day. You will often see ladoos, Kheer and many other Indian desserts made in houses. Apart from all this, people love dressing up in Indian attires.
4. Other than gifts, cash money is also given by the brother; it should be in odd numbers like 11, 21, 51, 101, etc. The one is for good luck, and it is the brother’s decision how much money he wants to give his sister.
5. Currently, brother and sister both exchange gifts during this day. Like the brother, many sisters gift something special on the day of Raksha Bandhan. You can gift anything the sibling wants or pick something of your own choice too. From jewellery boxes to accessories to clothes and much more, there is no limit to what you gift your siblings on this beautiful day.
This is everything you must know about this raksha bandhan festival celebrated in India.