Festivals in India are a family affair. Everybody comes together to celebrate. Its an affair of rituals, delicacies and family and friends gathering. Rakshabandhan is one such festival that brings everyone together and it’s a happy occasion. It is a festival dedicated to siblings and the love they share. It is celebrated on the full moon day in the month of Shravan, usually August. The word Rakshabandhan is made from two words, “Raksha” and “Bandhan”, wherein “Raksha” stands for protection and “Bandhan” means to tie. Hence, the word Rakshabandhan stands for the knot or tie of protection. It is not just between a brother and sister, Rakshabandhan is also celebrated amongst cousins, sisters, sister-in-law and so on. Rakshabandhan is not a modern festival. It originated centuries back and there are various stories and legends associated with the festival.
Preparations for Rakshabandhan starts from a month before the day. Every shop in the market can be seen selling rakhis and gifts and sweets. It is a very fancy and colourful site! Women go out for shopping, hunting for the best rakhi and gifts for their beloved brothers. And since no festival in India is complete without food, sweet shops are flooded with people during this time. Chocolates, cakes and other desserts along with traditional sweets like laddus and Kaju katli are bought by people in full fledge! Nowadays, there are specialised rakhi hampers available in the market, where you can buy a pooja thali that has a rakhi, roli-chawal as well as sweets. Special chocolate and sweet hampers are also trending these days!
On the day of Rakshabandhan, everybody wakes up early, gets ready and wears new clothes since it is such an auspicious day. Then everyone in the family gets together and prays to God. After this, the ritual of Rakshabandhan begins. The sister first performs her brother’s arti. Then, she puts a tikka and chawal on his forehead. After this, she chants mantras for the well-being and success of her brother while tying a rakhi to his wrist. Then, she gives him something sweet to eat. It is such a sweet, emotional moment for the brother and sister. After the ritual, he gives his sister beautiful gifts to pamper her and vows to take care of her and protect her from every evil. Nowadays, the ritual isn’t limited to just brothers and sisters. Sisters tie a special rakhi called lumba to their brother’s wife too. After the ritual, the whole family spends time together and it is a fun event. There’s lots of delicious food, music and dancing, clicking pictures and sharing delicious sweets.
You may be emotional that you’re missing out on all the fun with your brothers and your family if you live far from home or abroad or if your brother isn’t home for this Rakshabandhan. But the distance shouldn’t stop you from showing your brother how much you love him. You can send rakhi to India or abroad from India, with the help of various apps and websites nowadays. You can even surprise your brother with this gesture! All you have to do is pick a rakhi and mention that address that it needs to be sent to. These websites also offer the option of same day rakhi delivery, so you can order a rakhi on the day of Rakshabandhan and it will reach your brother on the very same day! You can send along gifts and personalised messages as well. If you want to be creative, there are dozens of DIY gift ideas for Rakshabandhan on the internet. This festival is the perfect excuse to gift your brother something that he’s always wanted but hasn’t got yet, like a new phone or a gadget.
Thus, celebrate this beautiful festival with your brothers, sisters and family!