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Raksha Bandhan

 Raksha Bandhan
The Hindu festival of Raksha Bandhan, also known as Rakhi and Rakhi Purnima, celebrates the relationship of brother and sister. It is celebrated all across India. Besides Hindus, followers of Jainism also observe it.

Time of Celebration
According to Hindu calendar, Raksha Bandhan is observed on the full Moon day, i.e. Shravan Purnima of the month of Shravan. According to Georgian calendar, it usually falls in the month of August.

Legends
The tradition of observing this festival is in presence since time immemorial. As opposed to prevalent beliefs in Hindu religion, tying of Rakhi across anyone’s wrists is one’s representation of faith for the other person. It also communicates for the need to get protected. There have been many references all across the history which conveys that a Rakhi can also be tied by a wife, a daughter, or a mother. However, in the present time, it is only confined to be tied by one’s sister only. Over a period of time, there have been several legends which have time and again confirmed and strengthened the significance as hold by this festival.

Rituals
1. The custom of Rakhi is abided during the morning time, when sun rises considerably up to the sky. Sister wakes up early, takes a bath, and prepares a Pooja Thali (plate prepared for worship). As a part of it, a Rakhi, diya (lamp), roli, uncooked rice, and sweets are placed in it. Then, both brother and sister stand in forth of Lord and pray them for overall wellbeing and happiness. It is followed with the ritual of tying Rakhi.

2. The fundamental ritual associated with this festival requires a sister to tie a sacred thread (referred as Rakhi) across his brother’s wrist. After that, sister apply roli and put rice on her brother’s forehead, perform Aarti by swinging lamp around his face, and make him eat sweet in the end. Brother on his part also make his sister eat sweets.

3. ‘Raksha’ means protection and ‘Bandhan’ means ‘bounden’. The festival with the same name is about bounding brother with the responsibility of protection of sister from all sorts of troubles in life and keeping her happy all the time. On part of sister, this is a way of conveying her love for brother and her blessings for his overall wellbeing and success in life. On part of brother, this is a way of accepting the responsibility of safeguarding his sister from all sorts of problems all her life. In the end, brother confers his sister with gifts.

4. During the time of this festival, markets decorate themselves in full gleam reflecting the festive mood of the time. Varied forms of Rakhi, right from a very simple and basic thread to the very extravagantly embellished one, are on offer. Ideally, they all are made up of silk with gold or silver-coloured threads.

5. Similar to what most other festivals ask for, Raksha Bandhan is also one occasion to bring everyone in the family together and make them celebrate the essence of the day by singing, dancing, and eating special dishes prepared for the day. While celebrating this festival of togetherness and love, people also exchanges gifts with close family members.

6. However, not everyone is lucky enough to have their brother or sister around them to celebrate it. In such instances, a sister usually sends out a mail along with a Rakhi and sweets to his brother, wherever he is

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