Raksha Bandhan 2022: History and Significance of Rakhi
Raksha Bandhan or rakhi is celebrated to strengthen and renew the bond of love and affection between sisters and brothers. The word Raksha means protection and the word Bandhan means a bond or the verb tie. Traditionally, this Hindu festival is celebrated by the sister by tying a rakhi or a gold and red sacred thread (mauli) around her brother’s wrist. It is observed on the first full moon in the month of Sravana, the fifth month in the Hindu lunar calendar (typically July-August of the Gregorian calendar).
Importance of Rakhi
The origins of the festival are lost in the mists of time. It is said that the festival started being celebrated when Draupadi (wife of the five Pandavas in the epic Mahabharat) tied a piece of her sari on a cut on Lord Krishna’s hand to stop the bleeding. He, in turn, took an oath that he would always protect her. However, its significance today is that it is a day dedicated to the loving bond between siblings.
The rakhi is a symbol of the sister’s prayers and blessings for her brother’s long life and well-being as well as the brother’s oath to protect and honour his sister as long as he lives. She offers prayers for him and places a tilak on his forehead and he gives her gift to signal his acceptance of his duty towards her.
Across India, the day starts with the rakhi ritual/prayer being performed during the morning. Dressed in her traditional best, the sister performs arati by lighting a small oil lamp and offering it to the gods. She prays for her brother’s long life and health and applies a tilak on his forehead. She then ties the rakhi on his wrist and gives him a mithai (sweetmeat) to eat. He, in turn, blesses her and gives her a rakhi gift or money.
Even if the siblings don’t happen to be present in the same city, the sisters will always mail or courier their rakhi to the brother well before the day and the brother will reciprocate with a gift or blessings.
Despite the solemnity of its message, Raksha Bandhan is a joyous occasion with the sister and brother pulling each other’s legs or reminiscing about their happy memories together. The entire family joins in the fun because the festival is, at the end of the day, about family connections and bonds of affection. And, for that reason, rakhi is also tied to those we respect such as our gurus, fathers, spouses and even friends.
And what better way to sweeten the occasion than choosing some of the gift boxes, hampers or potlis crammed full of your favourite Cadbury chocolates on cadburygifting.in as gifts for your loved ones? The fact that you can personalise these gifts and send rakhi messages along with them only adds to their ‘must-haveness’!
Though the festival is specifically meant for sisters and brothers and celebrates their relationship, the ultimate significance of its message is as relevant today as it was when the festival started: universal sisterhood/brotherhood and love.