Raksha Bandhan, also called Rakshabandhan or Rakhi, is a popular Hindu festival of brothers and sisters. The festival celebrates the sacred love between brothers and sisters. It is celebrated on the last Full Moon day of the month of Shravana according to Hindu lunar calendar.
|Raksha Bandhan Date 2019||Aug 15, 2019|
|Calendar Day||Last Full Moon day of Shravan|
|Shubh Timings 2019||5:50 am to 6:03 pm|
|Celebration||Sisters tie Rakhi on Brother’s wrist|
|Also Called||Rakhi Purnima|
Meaning of Raksha Bandhan
The Sanskrit word ‘Raksha’ means protection and ‘Bandhan’ means relation. Raksha Bandhan, therefore, translates to “Bond of Protection”.
On this day, sisters tie an amulet called Rakhi around the wrists of their brothers to bring good luck to them. In return, brothers promise to protect their sisters from all odds and share the responsibility of their potential care. Sisters also receive a gift in return from their brothers.
Rakhi Purnima or Kajari Purnima or Nariyal Purnima are also different forms of Rakhi in different states.
Raksha Bandhan 2019 – Dates and Timings
Dates – Raksha Bandhan is to be celebrated on Thursday, 15th of August 2019.
Timings – 5:50 AM, 15 Aug 2019 to 6:23 PM, 15 Aug 2019
Thread Tieing ceremony will begin at 05:50 am in the morning and will continue till 06:23 pm in the evening.
Shubh Timings for Raksha Bandhan 2019
|Shubh Muhurat for Rakhi Tying Ceremony||05:50 am to 06:03 pm|
|Ceremony Duration||12 Hours 13 Minutes|
|Aparahan Time during Raksha Bandhan||13:44 to 16:23|
|Aparahan Duration||2 Hours 39 Minutes|
|Pradosh Time during Raksha Bandhan||20:08 to 22:18|
|Pradosh Duration||2 Hours 10 Minutes|
|Purnima Tithi Starting||14th August 2019 at 15:45|
|Purnima Tithi Ending||15th August 2019 at 17:58|
How to celebrate Raksha Bandhan?
- Buying of Rakhi – Before the coming of Raksha Bandhan, sisters begin buying rakhis for their brother from the market. They look out for special rakhi in the form of colourful threads, silver rakhis, and bracelets.
- On the day of Raksha Bandhan – Brothers and sisters wear new clothes and celebrate the festival in the presence of their elders.
- Aarti – The ritual involves lighting a Diya for performing aarti by the sisters. Aarti involves moving the Thaali in a circular pattern in front of the brother.
- Prayers – Sisters then perform prayers for the well-being and longevity of their brothers.
- Tilak – They also apply a “Tilak“(Rice & Roli) on the forehead of their brothers.
- Rakhi Tying Ceremony – Then, sisters tie a rakhi around the wrist of their brother.
- A portion of sweet or dry fruits is fed to each other as an omen.
- Rakhi Gifts in Return – After the rakhi is tied around the wrist, it is now the turn of brothers to offer gifts to his sister. The gift can be in the form of money or any presents.
- Promise – Brothers also promise to take full care of their sisters and to safeguard them against all the odds in life.
What are the materials required to perform Raksha Bandhan?
The sisters need to prepare a Thaali for the Puja. Thaali contains Diya, Rice, Roli, coconut, sweets and most importantly the Rakhis.
Voluntary Kin Relations
Among women and men who are not brothers and sisters by blood, there is also a new tradition of voluntary kin relations. Women, especially ones who are not having own brother, can make a person as their bother by tying Rakhi on their wrists.
This tradition has cut boundaries among various castes and religions. Rakhi, hence, signifies unity in diversity and has joined people with the thread of love.
Not just limited to blood relations, sister-in-law, cousins, nephews, etc. also celebrates Raksha Bandhan.
Regional Variations of Rakhi
While Raksha Bandhan is celebrated in various parts of South Asia, different regions also mark this day in different ways. The festival of Raksha Bandhan has various names which vary with location. Some of them are:
- Jhulan Purnima – In the state of West Bengal and Odisha, this day is called as Jhulan Purnima. People offer prayers and worship Radha and Krishna on this day. Sisters also tie rakhi on the wrists of brothers and wishes long-life for them.
- Narali Poornima – In Maharashtra, the festival of Raksha Bandhan is celebrated along with Narali Poornima (Coconut festival). The fishermen offer prayers to Lord Varuna, the Hindu god of Sea, to get his blessings. They also offer coconut to the sea for calming it down after the monsoon season. This day is also marked as the beginning of the fishing season.
- Kite Festival – In the regions of North India, mostly Jammu, it is a common practice to fly kites on the occasions of Janamashtami and Raksha Bandhan. One can see the sky filled with kites of all colours and sizes around these two dates. The locals buy a number of kites and strings along with that.
- Salono – In Haryana, people also observe the festival of Salono on the day of Rakhi. On Salono, priests of the temples tie amulets against evil on people’s wrists. Another ritual includes sisters placing barley behind the ears of their brothers.
- Janai Purnima or Rishi Tarpani – In Nepal, Rakshabandhan is referred to as Janai Purnima or Rishi Tarpani. It is celebrated by both Hindus and Buddhists of Nepal. On this day, men change the thread wore around their chests (thread called as Janai). In some parts of Nepal also, sisters tie rakhi on their brother’s wrists.
- Gunhu Punhi – This festival is observed by the Shaiva Hindus. Raksha Bandhan is popularly known as Gunhu Punhi in the Newar community.
- Rakhari- In Sikhism, the festival devoted to brother & sister is called as “Rakhardi” or Rakhari by the Sikh community.
Historical Backdrop of Raksha Bandhan
Raksha Bandhan has its origin in folk culture. It was rooted in the practice of village exogamy. According to that, girls get married only out of her native village. And, her parents cannot visit her new home according to customs. Hence, large numbers of married women travel back to their parents’ homes every year on the day of Raksha Bandhan.
Origin & Stories of Raksha Bandhan
There are many stories which contribute to its origin. Some of them are-
Rani Karmavati of Chittor- When Chittor faced threats of invasion from Bahadur Shah, Rani Karmavati, queen of Chittor, sent a Rakhi to the Mughal Emperor Humayun as a request to save her family. To this, Humayun gallantly responded and tried to help Rani in saving the kingdom.
Santoshi Maa- Lord Ganesha’s sister Mansa visited to tie Rakhi to Ganesha on the auspicious day of once. Seeing this, his sons Labh and Kush started asking for a sister. Giving in to their demands, Ganesha created Santoshi Maa. The divine flames that emerged from Ganesha’s consorts – Riddhi and Siddhi, created Santoshi Maa
Lord Krishna And Draupadi– In Mahabharata, during the Rajsuya Yagna, Lord Krishna hurt his index finger while hurling the Sudarshan Chakra. Draupadi– the wife of the Pandavas, immediately tore her saree and tied it around Lord Krishna’s finger to prevent it from bleeding. Touched by the gesture, he vowed Draupadi’s care and protection on himself.
Shachi and Indra Dev- Lord Indra was once having a fierce battle against the powerful Demon, Bali. Seeing this, Indra dev’s wife, Shachi, went to Lord Vishnu who gave her a holy bracelet to tie on Indra Dev’s wrist. Blessed with the power of sacred thread, Indra Dev then successfully defeated King Bali.
Kunti and Abhimanyu- Abhimanyu was Queen Kunti’s grandson and the son of Arjun and Subhadra. She tied a sacred thread on Abhimanyu’s wrist during the battle of Mahabharata as a symbol of protection.
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Happy Raksha Bandhan!