The festival of Raksha Bandhan is referred to as Rakhi Purnima as it falls on a full moon day in the Shravan month. The word 'Rakhi' symbolizes the bond of love and protection between a brother and sister while 'Purnima' means a full moon day. The day is actually a Shravan Purnima which is celebrated in different names all over India pertaining to their religious traditions and customs. This day holds immense significance in the Hindu religion owing to its auspiciousness. Moreover, it is the best day to perform religious rituals and is, therefore, celebrated in a number of ways in different regions of India.
On Rakhi Purnima, sisters perform their early morning prayers and tie beautiful rakhis on the wrists of their brothers to ask for their lifelong love, care, and protection. Raksha Bandhan strengthens their bonds and makes them acquainted with each other's love for each other. According to the astrologers and priests, it is believed that Rakhi ceremony must be avoided during the time of Bhadra kaal due to its inauspiciousness. The best time to perform them is during Aparhana or Pardosh durations on Rakhi Purnima.
This year, Rakhi Purnima is going to be celebrated on 30th August 2023 as Shravan Purnima happens to fall on this day.
The timings of Rakhi Purnima 2023 are as follows-
Purnima Tithi Begins – 10:58 AM on 30th August 2023
Purnima Tithi Ends- 07:05 AM on 31st August 2023
The auspicious timings to perform the rituals on Rakhi Purnima is given below-
Rakhi thread tying timings: after 09:01 PM on 30th August 2023
Shravan Purnima, also called Rakhi Purnima, is an extremely auspicious day in the Hindu calendar or Panchang which is highly admired by the astrologers to perform all kinds of Pujas. It is ritualistically performed in various ways by the people of India who feel strong connections with their religion and customs.
In order to keep oneself closer to the rich culture or traditions in India, let us know the cultural diversities in which this day is celebrated by the people of India.
Rakhi Purnima or Sharavan Purnima is extremely significant in the states like Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, and Bihar. Celebrated as Kajari Purnima, this day holds immense significance for the farmers as it signifies the commencement of the new agricultural season. Farmers in these states sow crops of wheat and barley during this time of the year. On this occasion, people also offer their prayers to Goddess Bhagwati (Goddess of Prosperity) for good crops.
People began the preparations of this festival on a ninth day after Kajari Amavasya which happens to be Kajari Navmi. Several rituals and rites are performed by women who are blessed with sons until the day of Kajari Purnima. On the day of Shravana Shukla Navami, these ladies go to fields and bring soil in the leaf cups in which barley is sown. These cups are then placed in a dark room which is cleaned with cow dung and mud. Rice designs and patterns are drawn like that of a house, a child in the cradle, a mongoose and a woman with a pitcher on the ground where these cups will be placed. These cups are worshipped for seven days until the day of Purnima.
On the final day of Kajari Purnima, women carry these leaf cups on their head in a procession to a pond or a river nearby and immerse them in water with immense care and prayers. They keep a fast on this for the long life of their sons.
The state of Maharashtra celebrates the day of Raksha Bandhan in dual ways. Firstly, the city-zens follow the traditional customs of Raksha Bandhan by tying rakhis on the wrists of brothers, and secondly, as Narali Purnima dedicating this auspicious day to the seas God, Varuna, by offering Nariyal to him in the seas. This day also falls on the same day of Shravan Purnima, just like Raksha Bandhan and marks the end of the monsoons in India.
On this auspicious day, people of the fisherman community perform rituals by throwing coconuts in the sea to avoid unavoidable incidents while at the sea. The day also observes the jolly acts by people like dancing and singing at the beaches. The day symbolizes the beginning of the fishing season and seeks the blessings of the seas God to protect them from any natural calamities. People offer coconut as a Prasad on this day and prepare sweet coconut rice at home.
The day of Rakhi or Shravan Purnima is celebrated as Avani Avittam or Upakramam in the regions of south India. The word 'Avani' means 'Tamil month' and 'Avittam' signifies one of the 27 Nakshatras. This day holds immense religious importance for the Brahmin community of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The community performs all the rituals and rites relating to Janeyu with great dedication and devotion on this day.
As per a legend, on this day, Lord Vishnu returned the stolen Vedas of Lord Brahma to him. This is the reason why Brahmins in ancient India lauds this day as extremely auspicious to commence Vedic studies. The Yajur Vedic Brahmins begin reading Yajur Veda on Avani Avittam to the next six months. This day is very significant for the male Brahmin community in south India. They begin their day with a holy bath and don a sacred thread or Janeyu and even change their threads after performing some rituals. It is believed that this holy thread opens up the third eye of wisdom. They take vows to diligently perform the Brahmanic duties as stated in the Hindu holy books and adopt good conduct and dignity. The Janeyu is a manifestation of the pledge for their devotion to Vedic culture, observance of Hindu customs and traditions, and service to humanity. The ceremony is known as Shravani or Rishi Tarpan.
The day of Rakhi Purnima is celebrated as Pavitropana in some parts of Gujarat. People of the Gujarati community offer their prayers to Lord Shiva by offering water, milk, curd, honey, and coconut water on Shivalinga on all the Mondays of the Shravana month. They make a twisted filament of cotton which is soaked in a mixture of cow's ghee, milk, curd, urine, and excreta, called as Panchagaivya and which is tied around Shivalinga. They believe that Lord Shiva will eliminate all the negativities from the earth and will bring peace and prosperity on it.
Sisters share a special bond with the brothers. The festival of Raksha Bandhan cherishes this amazing relationship between the siblings with each other. More focus is given on the bonds of brothers and sisters on this festival, leaving behind the most amazing relationship with sister-in-law. They are the ones who are given the responsibilities of taking care of brothers which they remarkably fulfill to perfection. The Marwari and Rajasthani community applauds this beautiful relationship as the ladies of this communities tie Lumba Rakhi on the bangles of their Bhabhis. The people of these communities believe a wife is an 'ardhangini' and Raksha Bandhan is incomplete without tying rakhi to sisters-in-law who showers love and take care of your brothers.
Jhulan Purnima is a conclusion to a 5-day long ritual in which Lord Krishna and Radha swinging on the Jhula. The celebrations of this Purnima begin on the day of Pavitra Ekadashi and conclude on the day of Raksha Bandhan or full moon day of Shravan month. The idols of Radha and Krishna are placed on the jhula and are made to swing. The major celebrations of this Jhulan Purnima in West Bengal takes place at the Iskcon temple in Mayapur where a swing is decked up with flowers.
People of Odisha celebrate the day of Raksha Bandhan as Gamha Purnima in which domesticated bullocks and cows are decorated and worshipped as they are considered holy in the Hindu religion. Sweet delicacies made of rice paste and coconut filling called pitha is prepared and distributed to family members, and neighbors and friends.
People of Kumaon region of Uttarakhand celebrate Raksha Bandhan and Janopunyu on a full moon day in the month of Shravan. On this occasion, people change their Janeu (sacred thread), usually worn by the Brahmins of the community.