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.
Here are some easy steps to make your own Rakhi
You will Need Red & Yellow Wool, some beads & scissors. The steps are the same as you would use to make a pompom. Twist the Red wool around your fingers for 20 rounds. Slowly pull it out & securely tie it at the center. Using scissors, cut the ends of the bow & spread & press to form a flower pom pom. Tie a wooden bead at the center & another strand behind to make the Rakhi.
Will you be celebrating Rakhi this year? Do you have a custom in your culture that celebrates siblings? I’d love to know your thoughts.
Shruti Bhat is a Software Quality Analyst by profession from Bangalore, India. She loves crafting with her 7 year old daughter and blogs at ArtsyCraftsyMom.com. She can be reached at @ArtsyCraftsyMom on Twitter, Facebook & Pinterestby
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