What makes a festival prominent? Well, people have different view point about festivals. Few take it the moment to rejoice the customs of religion whereas few take it as a moment of togetherness. Overall, festival is the time to make merry and there is definitely no doubt in the same. When coming to festivals and India then there is a deep connection between the festivals and the grand days of celebrations. Each and every festival has its own significance and value and so as the celebration style. The best thing about India is its unity in diversity and which could be seen with the various festivals and special moments to cherish with the loved ones. There is one very popular festival in India, which is called as Raksha Bandhan. The day is known as the sacred celebration of the sibling’s bond. The best part about the festival is the different ways in which it is celebrated. In this article, we are going to highlight the different ways in which Raksha Bandhan.
Celebration of Raksha Bandhan in North India
The country witnesses the grand Raksha Bandhan celebration in the northern part, where the festival is celebrated with great pomp and show. Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal, Uttarakhand, Bihar are few of the prominent states where the day is observed with acute enjoyment and devotion. The best part about the day is the different rituals that are followed for day celebration. Following are the common practices that are observed in the festival.
A month prior to the festival, the shopping for Rakhi thread begins. Markets are decorated with beautiful Rakhi designs which would bestow the sibling’s love and relationship. Sisters look out for special Rakhi in the form of colorful threads, silver Rakhis, bracelets, amulets and other men’s wrist accessories for the occasion of Raksha Bandhan. Checking out for Rakhi designs online has also become a tradition now.
Rituals of Rakhi
In front of parents, grandparents and elders of the house the rituals of Rakhi are performed. Siblings take a shower and wear new clothes and get ready for the ritual early in the morning. The ritual involves lighting a diya or earthen lamp which represents the fire deity and performing of Aarti by the sisters. They perform prayers for the well-being of their brother and apply a “tilak” on the forehead of their brothers. Along with this, a portion of sweet/ dessert or dry fruits is fed to the brother and finally the Rakhi is tied around the wrist of brother.
Rakhi Gifts for Sister by Bro
Once sister is done with the formality of the festival then there comes the turn of brother. For the dedication, love and affection of sister, brother offers a gift as a token of love and affection. The gift could be in the form of a money, a gift from an offline or online gifting store in the form of Rakhi special gift hamper, a dress, a piece of jewelry items or any other such presents. For brothers who want to offer something unique and extraordinary to their sisters can check out the stunning range of Rakhi return gifts for their sisters, online. In case, there is a need to send Rakhi return gift to sister at a distance then using online portal for the same is a convenient means.
Jammu and Kashmir celebrates the festival in quite a different form. It is very interesting to see and speculate the celebration of Raksha Bandhan there. It begins with the Kite flying festival which begins a month before the main festival with the active participation of the locals. People fly a wide range of kites that are of different shapes, colors and designs. These kites are also flown with special strings by the people.
In the northern parts of India like Uttarakhand consisting of the Kumaon region, the occasion is celebrated with the changing of “Janau” or “Janev” threads that are worn around the torso. The festival is not just linked to brother and sister but even to all brothers. The occasion is called by the same name but the mode of celebration in this part of India is bit different. Apart from this, a fair is also conducted in the Champawat region on this day.
In the Rajasthani and Marwari community, women tie Rakhi on the wrist of their brother’s wife or the sister-in-law (Bhabhi). The custom is followed as the wife of the brother is responsible for the well-being of their brother and being a part of the family, her well-being is important for the whole family as well. The Rakhi which is tied around sister-in-law’s hand is called as Lumba Rakhi.
Celebration of Rakhi in East India
As there are huge customs and traditions throughout the country and hence the festival has also attained different versions of celebration. Coming to celebration of Rakhi in East India then the region celebrates it in a very different yet beautiful manner. In the parts of West Bengal and Odisha, the occasion is known as Jhulan Purnima where Lord Krishna and Radha are worshipped by people on this day. Sisters then tie beautiful Rakhi on the wrist of their brothers and wish for their good health. There is a mood of cheerfulness and joy all around the cities where people belonging to multiple areas like political parties, offices, friends, schools, colleges, common residents, high class people and others actively participate in the occasion.
Celebration of Rakhi in South India
The festival of Raksha Bandhan is celebrated in Maharashtra and other coastal areas in the form of Naarali Poornima where sea is worshipped by the people. The fishermen community throws coconuts into the sea as offerings to sea. Furthermore, people consume coconut based sweets and dishes that are cooked in every household. Later part of the celebrations is commenced after worshipping the sea.
In other southern states like Tamil Nadu and Kerala, the occasion is celebrated as Avani Avittam that falls on the full moon night during the month of Shravana. The festival is mainly for all the male members of the family. Brahmins on this day take a dip in the water and ask atonement from all their past sins. After the conclusion of the ritual, the holy thread or the “janau” that is worn across the body is changed with a new thread. They also make resolution about performing the good deeds during this “thread changing” ceremony.
Celebration of Rakhi in West India
In the western states like Gujarat, the festival of “Pavitropana” is celebrated alongside the occasion of Raksha Bandhan. Lord Shiva is worshipped on the day in which women offer Jal or sacred water and milk to Shiva Linga. They visit the temples on this day and ask forgiveness for their past sins.
Celebration of Rakhi in Central India
The festival is celebrated as Kajri Purnima in central part of India, where the festival is dedicated for farmers and mothers. On this day, farmers worship their land whereas mothers perform the special pooja with their sons. The celebration for the event starts a week before the main occasion. The wives of the farmers go to their fields and collect some soil from their fields in leaves. This soil is then planted with barley seeds and is kept in the portion of the house which is well scrubbed and decorated. After the completion of 7 days, the put is taken out and submerged in a well or river by the women alongside the prayer that asks for the longevity of their sons.
These are the different ways in which the festival is celebrated in the country. The day is of immense important and this is a reason is celebrated with great pomp and show.