Indian Festival | Rakhi | Hindu Festival (2016)

Rakhi Date 2016

Rakhi this year is on 18 August 2016.

About Rakhi Festival

Rakhi Festival is also called Raksha Bandhan.

Raksha Bandhan is a Hindu festival celebrating the bond of love between a brother and sister. Nowhere else is it celebrated as enthusiastically and reverently as in India. Traditionally it is about 6000 years old.

Raksha Bandhan literally means the bond of protection.

This festival is celebrated in the month of August mostly, on the full moon day in the month of shravan.

On this day sisters tie a thread called rakhi on their brother's wrist and pray for their well being. Brothers on their part vow to protect their sisters at all times.

Though rakhi is a celebration of the sacred bond between a brother and sister who are siblings, there are numerous examples in history when rakhi was tied or sent just for protection.

Also, a woman can also tie a rakhi to someone who is a total stranger but does not have a sister and thus a bond as strong as the one between blood related siblings follows.


Shopping For Rakhi

women shopping for rakhi
women shopping for rakhi | Source

Rakhi Thali

rakhi thali with diya (lamp), roli (red tilak in the cup), rakhi or mouli, sweets in another plate far end, incense stand, flowers
rakhi thali with diya (lamp), roli (red tilak in the cup), rakhi or mouli, sweets in another plate far end, incense stand, flowers | Source

Rakhi Thali

Rakhi thali is the plate that the sister takes to her brother's home when she goes to tie rakhi to him. This thali or plate an be of brass, steel or silver. It is decorated with a diya or lamp, roli or vermillion, rakhi ( a decorative thread), some rice grains and sweets.

Three small containers having rice, roli and some water are kept in the thali. A swastika sign is drawn in the middle of the thali (swastika is the symbol of Lord Ganesha). One incense stand and a lamp (diya) is put in the thali. Rakhi and some sweets are also placed in the thali.

The thali can also be decorated with lace, betel leaves or banana leaf.


Applying Tilak

tilak is applied before the rakhi is tied
tilak is applied before the rakhi is tied | Source

The Ritual

On the day of Raksha Bandhan sisters take an early bath, offer prayers and then prepare a Rakhi thali (thali is a plate), adorned with a diya (lamp), roli (vermillion mixed with some water to make a paste), rice, rakhi thread and some sweets.

She then visits her brother's home to tie the rakhi. She first applies tilak on his forehead with the vermillion (roli) and a few grains of rice and then offers him sweets. The brother blesses her and gives her gifts. The pledge of protection is one that is mutually understood.

Raksha Bandhan is an occasion for the entire family to get together and spend sometime uniting, celebrating and partaking food together. It is a festival that brings together siblings and is a reminder of the strong bond of love and protection between a brother and sister.


Tying Rakhi

sisters tying rakhi on their younger brother's wrist
sisters tying rakhi on their younger brother's wrist | Source

Types Of Rakhis

Almost a month before the festival various colorful and fancy rakhis start arriving in the market. The earliest shoppers are the women who have to send rakhis to their brothers who live far away. Shops of all types from the biggest to the smallest, have rakhis on display for sale at this time.

Different types of rakhis like cartoon rakhis, sandalwood rakhis, musical rakhis, floral rakhis, gold and silver coated rakhis, currency notes rakhis, beads rakhis etc are available in the market.


2 Historical Anecdotes About Rakhi


Though there are many historical anecdotes about rakhi, I am citing just two of them to emphasize how much importance and respect was given to this simple bond of love called Raksha Bandhan.


  • Emperor Humayun & Rani Karnawati

Rani Karnawati was the widowed queen of the King of Chitoor. At the time when she realised she could not defend the invasion of her kingdom from the Sultan of Gujarat, Bahadur shah, she sent a rakhi to Emperor Humayun . So touched was the Emperor by this gesture that he immediately set off with his troops to defend her.

  • Alexander The Great & King Porus

King Alexander was a great warrior and conquered many countries. However when he invaded India he encountered the fury of the Indian King Porus.

Foreseeing the imminent defeat of King Alexander, his wife sent a rakhi to King porus. Later on when a war ensued between the two Kings, King Porus remembered the rakhi sent to him and thus refrained from killing King Alexander.


How to make Rakhi for Raksha Bandhan Style 1

How to make Woolen Rakhi

© 2012 Rajan Singh Jolly

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Comments 21 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

Fascinating stuff my friend. I love learning about different cultures. Thank you for schooling this old teacher!


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

Awesome and interesting article Rajan! Thanks for sharing a bit of your history with us.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Thanks Bill and Linda. This is a glimpse of one Indian traditional celebration. glad you liked it. Am off to bed now. It's almost 1.40 am 2nd of August. Thanks for being so quick on this.

Goodnight and take care.


Deborah Brooks profile image

Deborah Brooks 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

What an awesome tradition.. this is a great informative hub. thank you for sharing

voted up and sharing

Debbie


Dexter Yarbrough profile image

Dexter Yarbrough 4 years ago from United States

Raksha Bandhan or Rakhi is a great way to show the bond between brothers and sisters. I wish we had great festivals and traditions such as this. Thanks for sharing, Rajan! I learn so much from you!


ishwaryaa22 profile image

ishwaryaa22 4 years ago from Chennai, India

An informative and engaging hub! Today is Rakhi day. Happy Rakhi Day to you & your family! I learnt more from your hub, especially from the historical ancedotes cited in your hub. Also there is a mythological story that Lord Krishna suddenly wounded his wrist in the battle. Draupadi torn a piece of her garment and tied it around Lord Krishna to stop it from bleeding. Lord Krishna was greatly touched by this gesture and decided to adopt her as his sister. He declared that he will always protect her and he kept his word. Lord Krishna saved Draupadi from public humiliation during the time the Pandavas lost the game to the Kauravas. This dramatically powerful story is one of the key ancedotes about one of India's most important festivals - Raksha Bandhan! A fetching hub! Well-done!

Thanks for SHARING. Useful, Awesome & Interesting. Voted up & Socially Shared


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Thank you so much Deborah. Much appreciated.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Hi Dex. I'm glad you like the festival's history and significance. Thank you. Nice to see you again.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Hi Ishwaryaa. Thanks for all the votes and sharing. Yes this mythological is very well known. Thanks for sharing it here.

Happy Rakhi day to you and your family too.

Thanks for your visit.


josh3418 profile image

josh3418 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

Rajan,

Awesome! A neat thing about HubPages is learning about other cultures; this was very fascinating! Thanks buddy for sharing!


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Josh, I'm glad I could share something about the Indian culture with you all. Hubpages certainly needs to be thanked for giving us all a platform to learn so many things about each other's culture.

Many thanks for reading and appreciating.


molometer profile image

molometer 4 years ago

Hello Rajan,

I have always been impressed with India and it's many courteous traditions.

This is a new one to me, and much appreciated for sharing it with us.

It would be wonderful if we had something like Raksha Bandhan in other cultures.

This is an Indian Festival that we could all benefit from.

Voted up and 4/5 votes sharing.


jainismus profile image

jainismus 4 years ago from Pune, India

Well written, informative Hub, thank you for sharing it.


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

It tells you a lot about the culture when they celebrate this relationship. Here in the U.S. we have nothing like it. Voting this Up and Interesting.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Hi Michael. Cultures the world over have so many rich traditions that it is indeed a pleasure to learn about them. I'm glad I could share one traditional custom with my readers. And happier still that it has been much appreciated.

Thanks for taking time out to read and leave your valuable input, give votes and share it also.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Thanks Jainismus. Appreciate the votes.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Aurelio, I'm glad you liked this. Thanks for stopping by to read and comment.


jokesfb 4 years ago

I really like that all these sisters buy Rakhi with verh joy and Charm , Thanks for this collection www.jokesfb.com


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Thanks for reading and commenting, jokesfb.


DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Something I used to do when I was back home, not since I moved to Croatia this hub refreshed my memories of when I was back home thanks for such an interesting insight to this day.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Thanks, Devika and glad you have happy memories associated with Rakhi.

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    rajan jolly profile image

    Rajan Singh Jolly (rajan jolly)1,139 Followers
    310 Articles

    Rajan is a major in Botany and Chemistry. Has worked as a poultry breeder for 23 years of his career breeding layer & broiler parents.


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