Raksha Bandhan translated from Sanskrit literally means – The Knot / Thread of Protection
Its a solemn promise by a brother that he will always care, love & protect his sister till his last breath. Its an Indian Hindu Festival that falls on August 10th this year and is celebrated on the Full Moon Day (Pournima) of the Hindu month Shravan every year.
Celebrating Raksha Bandhan in India
The days leading to Raksha Bandhan are busy. The Sisters make or shop for Rakhis and the brothers hunt for a suitable gift for her. The parents get the materials and sweets for the puja ready.
The Raksha bandhan day starts early.. The Brother & Sister both wake up & have a head bath. They get dressed in new traditional clothes
The sister then does an aarti – a special plate with a lighted lamp. The plate also has the customary Haldi & Kumkum (Turmeric & Kumkum made with dried & powdered turmeric & a bit of slaked lime, which turns the rich yellow powder into a red color), some betel nuts and coloured rice (called Akshata). Arti is done by rotating the plate with lighted lamp in a clockwise direction three times in front of the person. Of course at a safe distance. Then the akshata is showered on the brother’s head & a Kumkum Tilak is applied.
Now the sister ties the handmade rakhi on her brother’s right wrist and they exchange sweets. Once the Rakhi has been tied, the sister says a prayer for the well being – good health, prosperity and happiness – for her brother. And the brother shares a gift for his sister promising to always be there for her & to be her strongest supporter.