Published on Aug 25, 2023
India, a land of diverse cultures and traditions, is known for its rich tapestry of festivals that bring people together in joyous celebrations. One such heartwarming festival is Raksha Bandhan, a day that celebrates the bond between brothers and sisters. This cherished festival, typically falling in the month of August, this year on August 30th, 2023, is a testament to the deep-rooted relationships and the unique customs that make India so enchanting.
Raksha Bandhan, often referred to as Rakhi, is a festival that exemplifies the unbreakable bond of love and protection between siblings. The term "Raksha Bandhan" means the "knot of protection” in Sanskrit. On this day, sisters tie beautifully designed threads called "rakhis" around their brothers' wrists, symbolizing their love, care, and plea for their brothers' protection. In return, brothers give Raksha Bandhan gifts to their sisters and make a promise to always be there for them, both in times of happiness and adversity.
The tradition of Raksha Bandhan finds its roots in old Hindu scriptures. There are many stories in Hindu history and mythology where this tradition took place:
One of the stories is about Sachi and Indra. Sachi, Indra's wife, tied a protective thread around Indra's wrist for his protection during a battle against the terrifying demon King Bali. The story of Sachi and Indra shows us that rakhis are a symbol of protection for our loved ones.
Another captivating story is that of Lord Ganesh and his sister Devi Manasa, who visit him to tie Rakhi to his hand. Seeing this, Lord Ganesh’s sons, Shubh and Labh, expressed their desire to be involved in this celebration. They persuaded Ganesh to grant them a sister, and thus, Santoshi Maa was created.
In the Hindu epic Mahabharat, Draupadi ties a Rakhi to Krishna as he departs for the great war. Similarly, Kunti, the mother of the Pandavas, ties a Rakhi to her grandson Abhimanyu before he embarks on his own battle.
These stories signify a beautiful bond between brothers and sisters, husbands and wives, and friends that dates back ages, and we still find this beautiful bond today between brothers and sisters.
The celebration of Raksha Bandhan holds a special place in the hearts of Indians. The rituals associated with the festival are steeped in tradition and bring families closer.
Sisters take great care in selecting the right rakhi for their brothers. Rakhis come in a variety of designs, from simple threads to beautifully designed rakhis. Sisters don’t shy away from spending a good sum on their brothers’ rakhis, because why should they?
The festivities usually begin with a traditional puja performed by the sister. She prepares a thali with a lit diya, roli, rice grains, and sweets. The brother stands before the thali as his sister ties the rakhi around his wrist and draws a tika on the brother’s forehead.
Following the rakhi tying, brothers express their love by giving a raksha bandhan gift for their sister. These gifts can be clothes, jewelry, tickets to a trip to your sister’s favorite destination, money, or sentimental tokens that hold special meaning between the siblings.
No Indian festival is complete without indulging in traditional sweets. On Raksha Bandhan, sisters often prepare or buy sweets, and these treats are shared among family members, adding to the festive spirit.
While the core traditions of Raksha Bandhan remain the same, the festival has evolved with changing times. In today's fast-paced world, where siblings might be separated by distance, technology has bridged the gap. Sisters often send rakhis and gifts through postal services, and video calls have become a way to share the moment despite physical distances.
If you're looking to celebrate the festival of Raksha Bandhan but are far away from your siblings, don’t worry.
Plan ahead by choosing a meaningful rakhi for your brother. Consider his preferences and style when selecting the perfect one. You can also find a rakhi package online that includes rakhis, sweets, chocolates, and other treats, and you can send this care package to your brother.
Include a heartfelt note with the rakhi to express your emotions. Personal touches make the celebration more memorable.
If you're unable to be physically present with your sibling, set up a video call to virtually tie the rakhi and exchange wishes.
It may so happen that you find the perfect Raksha Bandhan gift for your sister or brother—one that they have hinted at repeatedly that they want. You go to the website to order it, and the worst thing happens – It’s out of your budget. That’s why SMFG India Credit is delighted to offer you an instant personal loan so you don’t have to think before buying the perfect Raksha Bandhan gift for your sister again!
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