India is a country rich of festivals. Its culture is so rich that it celebrates a festival almost every month. Moreover, people of India are so lively that they celebrate each and every festival with lot of enthusiasm. One of such festival is Rakhi or Raksha Bandhan, which reflects the sweet and sour relationship of brother and a sister. Though brothers and sisters share and enjoy the bond of love between them throughout the year, but Rakhi is the day when they get an opportunity to express their tender love and feelings for each other. Rakhi also makes them commemorate their loving memories, loyalty, closeness, trust and friendship that is ever lasting and pure.
Raksha Bandhan is celebrated every year on ‘Shravan Purnima’ (Full Moon Day of the Hindu month of Shravan), which generally falls in the month of August. On the auspicious day of Rakhi, sisters wake up in the morning, take bath, offer prayers to the Almighty and visit their brothers to perform the rituals of Rakhi. The ritual of Raksha Bandhan essentially includes tying of sacred thread (which is called ‘Rakhi’ or ‘Raksha Sutra’) by the sisters, on their brothers’ wrist. Before tying Rakhi, the sisters would perform an aarti, apply tilak (by mixing rice grains and roli) on their brother’s forehead and then offer them sweetmeat.
After the ritual of tying Rakhi is over, the brothers would give their sisters some gift or money and promise them to help them when ever they need and protect them throughout their lifetime. In fact, offering gifts to sisters is a tradition of Raksha Bandhan. Year by year, the enthusiasm amongst the brothers and their sisters, to celebrate the festival, is increasing. It is clearly visible from the wide variety of Rakhi, Raksha Bandhan gifts and sweets flocking the shelves of the stores, during the holiday. The festival bears social significance, because it symbolizes the importance of relationship between siblings.
R : Relationship
A : Affection
K : Knitting together
H : Him (Brother) & Her (Sister)
I : Interminably