Raksha Bandhan or Rakhi is a Hindu festival that celebrates the love between a brother and sister. It is celebrated across states in the country with traditional Hindu rituals. The word ‘Raksha’ means protection and hence Raksha Bandhan means ‘the bond of protection’. The festival falls in the month of Shravan during full moon day or Purnima day according to the Hindu calendar. As per the Gregorian calendar, Raksha Bandhan falls on August 7 this year. On the day, sister ties a rakhi on the wrist on her brother and in return, brother gives her a gift and also pledges to protect and take care of his sister. The Rakhi is tied during a particular Muhurat which is largely accepted in the Hindu culture. She also prays for his prosperity and wishes him good luck. The prayers recited are inspired from different Hindu scriptures. The rakhi which is a sacred colorful thread symbolises love between a brother and sister.
While Raksha Bandhan is generally celebrated by Hindus, over the years, people who follow Jainism and Sikhism have also adopted the tradition and is referred to as Rakhardi or Rakhari. Hindus tie the thread during the ceremony time which lasts for 7 hours and 33 minutes this year. Sisters can tie Rakhi on brother’s wrists between 13:34 to 21:08. The Purnima Tithi Begins at 00:58 on August 7, 2017, and ends 02:10 on August 8, 2017. It is believed that the best time to tie Rakhi on Raksha Bandhan is during Aparahna, which is late afternoon according. However, as per the Hindu division of the day if Aparahna time is not available then people can tie rakhis during Pradosh time.
Raksha Bandhan Muhurat timings:
Aparahan Time Raksha Bandhan Muhurat = 13:41 to 16:20, Duration = 2 Hours 38 Minutes
Pradosh Time Raksha Bandhan Muhurat = 18:59 to 21:08, Duration = 2 Hours 9 Minutes
With Raksha Bandhan around the corner, markets in the country flood with colorful rakhis. While a lot of women prefer to buy it, many make it on their own with various intricate designs and decorations. Even if the siblings do not live together sisters chose to mail to their brothers not letting a tradition break. There are various myths and legends associated with the festival dating back to thousands of years. While Raksha Bandhan is typically a Hindu festival, many Muslims also take part in the event to portray the secular and multicultural side of the country. In West Bengal and Odisha, this day is also called Jhulan Purnima. Happy Raksha Bandhan 2016 special: Bollywood Stars celebrate sibling love on Rakhi
Raksha Bandhan falls along or next to various festivals in different states in the country. In Maharashtra, Narali Poornima is also celebrated along with the festival, especially by the Koli community. Flying kites during the occasion is a common practice in North India. Raksha Bandhan is referred to as Janai Purnima or Rishitarpani in Nepal.