Rakhi Gifts - Symbols of Love and Affection for Sisters
In this modern age when rapid commercialization has bring a significant change in familial relationships and social bonds, the festival of Rakshabandhan comes as a refreshing break to renew old ties and bonds. It is a traditional Hindu festival celebrated on the full moon in the month of Shravana of the Hindu calendar. The festival celebrates the unique bond between brothers and sisters.
The relationship between brothers and sisters is truly special and a blessing. Brothers and sisters play a special role in the lives of one another. Because siblings often grow up in the same household, they have a large amount of exposure to one another and they know each other more closely than anyone else. Their relationship tends to be more egalitarian than with other family members as they become more like friends. In fact, the relationship often simulates the companionship of parents as well as the power and assistance of friends. No wonder a brother and sister remains close to each other for lifetime.
Rakshabandhan honors this special tie and the endearing relationship between the siblings. The festival is celebrated with lots of enthusiasm and vigor all over the country. Rakhis are made or bought long before the festival and traditional treats and dishes are prepared for the day.
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On the day of the Rakshabandhan following an early ritual bath, poojas are offered and the sister performs an Aarti ceremony before her brother so that the blessings may be showered upon him. She then ties the sacred thread known as Rakhi on her brother’s wrist. By tying the rakhi, she signals her love and attachment to her brother. The brother, likewise, recognizes the special bonds between them, and he takes a formal bow to protect her at any costs. In fact the term Rakshabandhan means a bond of protection. By extending his wrist forward, the brother symbolically extends the hand of his protection over her.
There is also the custom for brothers to bestow token gifts in return of the rakhi. The gifts are traditionally in the form of money, usually of small denominations. Nowadays other gift items such as flowers, chocolates, jewelry and apparels are also presented on this occasion. Brothers who stay far from home send Rakhi gifts to sister through mail or courier as they care for their sisters a lot and don’t want them to feel left out. The gifts are a symbol of love and affection but the blessing bestowed by the brother itself is regarded as the biggest gift of all.
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