Raksha Bandhan or Rakhi is a Hindu festival that celebrates the love between siblings. As per the Hindu Lunar calendar, Rakhi is celebrated on the Purnima (full moon day) in the month of Shravan. The word Raksha means protection and Bandhan means a knot, implying a connection. Rakhi is a sacred thread of protection embellished with the love and affection of a sister for her brother. This day of celebration is known as Raksha Bandhan. Typically a sister ties a Rakhi to her brother which symbolizes a bond of protection. In turn, the brother promises to love and take care of his sister. This year Raksha Bandhan falls on Sunday, 22nd August 2021.
The celebration of Raksha Bandhan is diversely celebrated in different parts of the country. Let’s look at a few stories and interpretations of this famous Indian festival.
Goddess Lakshmi and King Bali
Mahabali, the demon king was a staunch devotee of Lord Vishnu. Due to his immense devotion, Lord Vishnu took the responsibility to protect Bali’s Kingdom and left his place in Vaikundam. Goddess Lakshmi, wife of Lord Vishnu became very sad as she wanted to stay with her husband. She disguised herself as a Brahmin woman and took refuge in King Bali’s castle. She tied Rakhi to King Bali on the full moon day called Shravana Purnima. Later Goddess Lakshmi revealed herself. The king was moved by her and Lord Vishnu’s goodwill and affection for him and his family. It is believed that since that day it had become a custom to celebrate Raksha Bandhan.
Lord Krishna and Draupadi
Lord Krishna was hurt in the war where he killed the devil King Shishupal. Draupadi tore a strip of her saree to tie it around his bleeding finger. Lord Krishna felt bound by her sisterly love and compassion and pledged to repay the debt of gratitude in the future. When Kauravas attempted to remove the saree of Draupadi, Lord Krishna protected the dignity of Draupadi through his divine powers.
Rani Karnawati and Emperor Humayun – Beyond Religions
The story of Rajputana Rani Karnavati and Mughal Emperor Humayun is the most popular evidence in history. In the medieval era, Rajputs were fighting and protecting their Kingdom from Muslim invasions. Rani Karnawati was the widowed queen of the King of Chittor. She realized that she was not able to protect her Kingdom from the invasion of the Sultan of Gujarat, Bahadur Shah, so she sent a Rakhi to Mughal Emperor Humayun asking for immediate help. The Emperor was overwhelmed by the gesture and in turn helped her.
Alexander the Great and King Puru – The story of adopting a brother – ‘Woh mera Rakhi Bhaiya hai’
One of the oldest references to the History of Raksha Bandhan goes back to 300 B.C. King Alexander’s wife had heard about the Rakhi festival and decided to send a Rakhi to King Puru, who accepted her as his sister. During the war, King Puru refrained from killing Alexander as he had promised to protect her sister. Raksha Bandhan helped saved Alexander’s life.
Each story depicts love. It is common to tie a Rakhi to someone you consider a brother.
In the modern Era, this celebration does not limit to blood relationships alone, but can also be celebrated with cousins, sisters, and sister-in-law, fraternal aunts, nephews, and nieces. Raksha Bandhan is the festival of love and is not limited to any religion.
Due to the pandemic, we all celebrated Raksha Bandhan in 2020 at home and it seems like it will be the same this year for some. While celebrations may look different, let’s maintain the spirit of the festival. Let’s make it even more special this year by staying indoors and safe but with lots of fun and laughter. Here are some creative ideas to celebrate the love and companionship between siblings:
A colorful rainbow tell us after every storm, there is a new beginning. These beautiful and colorful Rangolis are sure to steal your heart. Traditional and elegant flower Garlands for any auspicious occasion are a must. They are very charm of the home decor. Elegant Diyas and Candles not only light up our house but also sparkle our lives.
Ethnic dresses or Funky Tees
Every year we wander in the market to find the perfect Rakhi for our brother or sister but as Raksha Bandhan looks very different this year, why not try something new. Let us order rakhis at the click of the button. These rakhis are unique and special. You can give it your personalized touch and make it your own.
Gifts with a special touch
All celebrations are incomplete without Muh Mitha…There is nothing sweeter than a thoughtful gift of chocolates with a touch of Indian spices.
Exchange of vows
Near or Far celebrations are always possible, just hop on a video call with your siblings and cousins to chat and truly show them how much you care. Whether it is cardamom tea or black tea or Masala tea…Sab ka favorite – Chai to Chai hai.
Fun Learning for kids
Chandu and Taaraa are here to tell you a story. My Raksha Bandhan-A Promise to Protect – Award-winning book for ages 3-7yrs
Little Learning at the End
Enjoy in Style and Stay Safe
Make sure to wear masks when stepping out. And do leave your comments on how you celebrated Rakhi this year. Pictures will be perfect too.