Know the Customs and Traditions of Celebrating Raksha Bandhan in India
Every year, the auspicious festival of Raksha Bandhan is celebrated during the Sharavana Purnima on the full moon day. This holy day celebrates the special bond between brothers and sisters and reflects the immense love and care for each other. Distance is not a hindrance at all as brothers living far away from their sisters come to them to celebrate the occasion together. Though the trend of celebrating the event has changed, the traditions and customs of Rakhi remain unchanged. With the age old customs, it is rejoiced in the same way with lot of excitement and happiness in heart.
As a part of the tradition, the woman of the house wakes up early in the morning, take bath and start the day by preparing delicious food and thereafter perform puja to receive the blessings of the deity. Most of the brother and sisters in the family often observe fast. The highlight of the day is the preparation of the Rakhi with puja thali with rice particles, beautiful rakhis, diya, kumkum and delicious sweets. The ceremony is followed by aarti which the sisters do for their brothers, apply tikka on their forehead and tie rakhi around their wrist and wish for their prosperous life. In return, the brother offers gifts to them and promises to protect and take care of their sisters from all hurdles of life. The beautiful gifts they get in return shows that the sisters are being pampered by their brothers. As no celebration is complete without mouth-watering food, all the family members sit together and relish the delicacies.
So, celebrate the day with full enthusiasm and joy.
Raksha Bandhan Traditions
RakshaBandhan is an important ritual which is performed to eliminate evil forces and negativities from the lives of the brothers since the Vedic times. It was believed that any kind of omens or disease can be avoided just by performing the RakshaBandhan rituals. The rakhi festival is observed in the month of Shravana on a full moon dayduring the timings of Aparahan or Pradoshon the day of RakshaBandhan, but must be avoided during the time of Bhadra.
Puja Vidhi of RakshaBandhan
In most of the Indian homes, the day of RakshaBandhan begins by tying a rakhi to either Lord Ganesha or Lord Krishna and worshipping them. Then, a Puja Thali is prepared by the sisters in which they put Roli, chawal, diya, sweets, and rakhi. Once the Bhadra timing gets over, they tie begin with the Rakhi ceremony. They put tilak of kumkum or roli and chawal on their brothers' forehead and ties rakhis on their wrists. Both of them sweeten their mouths with delicious sweets and chocolates.
Requisites of Performing a Perfect Rakhi Ceremony
Performing every RakshaBandhan ritual with utmost dedication and correctness is every sister's dream. She just wants to keep everything perfect and don't want to miss the opportunity of worshipping to God to bless her brother with lots of happiness, good health and a long life. So, here is a list of some custom and traditions that can make your Rakhi tying ceremony a wonderful one.
Fasting: Keeping fast for a person means bestowing him with a long and healthy life. The festival of RakshaBandhan observes sisters keeping fasts for their brothers to bless them with all the happiness and prosperity in life. She finishes her fast tying Rakhi to her brother.
Rakhi Thali: This thali holds immense significance on the festival of RakshaBandhan as the sister worship God as well as his brother with this same Rakhi thali. There are some essential elements which this thali must hold-
- Roli or Kumkum: This red-colored powder is applied by the sister on her brother's forehead to promote positive and spiritual thoughts.
- Rice: The rice is put on the forehead of the brother after the application of roli tikka. They are also sprinkled on the forehead to ward off any evil on him.
- Diya: This one is used to remove the effects of any evil eye on the brothers.The cotton wick signifies the soul which burns the oil (bad energies) from life.
- Betel nut: This nut is considered auspicious in all religious rituals. It defines auspiciousness.
- Sweets: These yummy delicacies are essential to break the fast and sweeten the mouth of each other on the festival of RakshaBandhan.
- Rakhi: Keeping rakhis in the Puja Thali is essential as the festival revolves around them.
Aarti: Rotating the rakhi thali in a circular motion in front of your brother after covering your heads with a dupatta and while chanting the mantras is called an aarti. This religious act will eliminate all the negative energies from his life.
Rakhi tying ceremony: This is the final stage in the list of traditions to be observed on the festival of RakshaBandhan. Sisters tie rakhi on the wrists of their brothers after applying the rolitikaand chawal on the forehead. After this, they sweeten their brother's mouth with their favorite sweets.
Rakhi gifts for sister: After every custom is successfully done, now comes the most exciting time of getting rewards from brothers. They reciprocate to their sisters by means of lavish return gifts and tokens of money.
Raksha Mantra or Raksha Sutra
After offering prayers to God, sisters worship their brothers and tie rakhis on their wrist while chanting the following Raksha Mantra or Sutra-
येन बद्धो बली राजा दानवेन्द्रो महाबल:।
तेन त्वामनुबध्नामि रक्षे माचल माचल।।
The meaning of Raksha Mantra is - "I tie you with the same Raksha thread which tied the most powerful, the king of courage, the king of demons, Bali. O Raksha (Raksha Sutra), please don't move and keep fixed throughout the year."