Rakhi or Rakha Bandhan: Traditions and Customs:

Learn about the customs and tradition associated with Rakhi. Rakhi has a number of fine customs and rituals to be followed, and this page tries to explain them in brief.
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Raksha Bandhan falls on the full moon of late August every year in which a woman ties a rakhi around the wrist of her brother(s). The Rakhi may be a decorative string in the form of a designer dial fitted with threads, a colorful bracelet, or a simple bright colored thread. But the spirit they reflect remains the same with all the variety and forms.

Though customs and rituals associated with Raksha Bandhan differ from region to region but the the celebration of the holi brother-sister nexus catches the same mood gaity and fervor in every Indian home.

Rakhis are made or bought a day before the festival. Traditional goodies and dishes are prepared early in the morning. Traditionally on the day of the Raksha Bandhan following an early bath, the offering Puja (worshipping of god) takes place. The thread-tying is preceded by the sister performing 'aarti' (offering light of flames) before her brother, so that the blessings of God may be showered upon him. By tying the rakhi, she signifies her loving attachment to her brother. The brother, likewise, recognizes the special bonds between them, and by extending his wrist forward, he in fact extends the hand of his protection over her. All this comes to the accompaniment of her enunciation or chanting of a mantra, which may be in Sanskrit or one of the other Indian languages. Traditional "tilak" or vermilion powder on the forehead of the brother is put and the brother, if elder, blesses the sister.

Tradition also sees brothers bestowing token gifts often in the form of money, usually of small denominations, in return. Exchange of other gifts has also been in practice for quite some time. The gift acts as a symbol of love and affection of the brother towards the sister. However, the blessing bestowed by the brother itself is regarded as the biggest gift for the sister. Treating the brother with the goods and eatables, home-made or bought, follows next. Of course, the brother has the option of sharing the the treats with the sister and the rest of the family. The normal rituals are followed with great devotion and dedication.

Well, for those who are separated by distance it has been a common practice today to send Rakhis, Raakhi greetings and gifts before hand. Do you belong to them? Well, don't call yourself unfortunate. We feel the deep love you nurture for your Rakhi-relation. And we offer a special arrangement for all such Indians living in other parts of the world.

Just go to the gifts links down below and click whatever you like to be sent to your brother and sister to which part of the planet and relax. The rest is our responsibility.

Rakhi ~ Time for Brothers and Sisters

Raksha Bandhan is an unspoken pledge exchanged between a brother and sister cementing their fraternal relationship. This also reinforces their protective bond against all ills and odds. Raksha Bandhan is celebrated on the day of Shravan Poornima that falls in the month of August every year. On this very day, the sisters tie a delicate, sometimes decorated, thread on the wrist of their brothers as a symbol of love and affection. This makes the brothers bound to protect their sisters from any trouble or wound. The chanting of a holy mantra by the sisters while tying the thread says, "I am tying a Raksha to you, similar to the one tied to Bali, the powerful king of the demons. Oh Raksha, be firm, do not waver". The mantra recalls how the demon king Bali had become very powerful with the Rakhi on. The power of the mantra is supposed to protect the wearer from evil influences. This shows how dependent and secure a sister feels when she has a brother. Tying this Rakhi or Raksha signifies the re-strengthening of the bond between the siblings of opposite sexes.

TIME OF THE YEAR
Raksha Bandhan is the most awaited festival of the year for every girl. It is celebrated in the month of August on the full-moon day known as the Shravan Poornima in India. The celebration of this festival is followed according to the Indian calendar, and hence the month in the English calendar varies every year.

RITUALS
Raksha Bandhan day starts with a festive mood in every Indian home. Rakhis are made or bought a day before the festival. Traditional goodies and dishes are prepared early in the morning. After an early bath, the offering Puja (worshipping of god) takes place. The sister then offers "aarti" (a traditional way of worshipping) to her brother and ties the thread on his right wrist. Traditional "tilak" or vermilion powder on the forehead of the brother is put and the brother blesses the sister. The tradition of giving gifts and presents is also an important part of this festival. The brother gifts his sister a gift after she ties the Rakhi on his wrist. This gift acts as a token of love and affection of the brother towards the sister. Sometimes sisters also demand for a gift of their own choice to keep it as a loving memory of that very day. Nevertheless, giving gifts is not a must tradition. The blessing bestowed by the brother itself is regarded as the biggest gift for the sisters. Treating her brother along with her entire family, with the goodies and eatables that has been prepared follows next. Thus, the normal rituals are followed with great devotion and dedication. The Rakhi celebration differs from region to region.

We, at TheHolidaySpot wish you a very happy rakshabandhan, and are presenting you with services for this unique festival. You can send a virtual Rakhi anywhere in the world, and can send gifts to India too. We also, as usual, have our loads of free goodies in form of recipes, touchy wallpaper, traditions and history, and free rakhi greetings. So just browse down, and enjoy!

Types of Rakhis

Cartoon Rakhi - These rakhis are a hot favorites for kids. Popular cartoon characters are etched on these rakhis.

Sandalwood Rakhi - These rakhis are made by using sandalwood pieces in various decorative forms. It gives an ethnic touch to your rakhi. The smell of sandalwood adds that extra freshness to the celebrations.

Musical Rakhi - A special music wafts out of a musical rakhi. This music may be melodious, surprising or even some animal's voice. These Rakhis are in a great demand nowadays.

Floral Rakhi - Floral rakhis never grow outdated. Flowers have a timeless appeal. They look traditional. Flowers of different colors and shapes make the rakhis appear even more beautiful.

Zari Rakhi - These Rakhis are made of Zari threads. Apart using the zari as thread it is also used in making the base of the rakhi. The zari is generally silver or golden therefore it appears shiny.

Resham Rakhi - They are made of resham threads. They are soft to touch and bright in appearance. Be it a simple dori or a heavily embroidered one, resham rakhis are liked by every age group.

Gold and Silver coated Rakhi - Rakhis coated with silver and gold are expensive but they look royal. At times these metals are also used in the different shapes like flowers, Indian Gods and Goddesses and even beads while preparing the Rakhis.

Shree - Om Rakhi - Rakhis containing "Shree", "Om" and "Swastika" signs are also quite popular. Such rakhis give a religious tinge to the festival.

Beads Rakhi - The Rakhis that have beads embedded into their threads or embedded on top of the Rakhi base in the middle of the Rakhi thread are put into this category. Such Rakhis give a unique tribal appearance.

Stones Rakhi - These rakhis have pieces of precious and semi-precious stones embedded into them. Rakhis decorated with various glittering stone pieces look splendid.



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