Of the many festivals that are observed in India, this is one that is a favourite among many, as it celebrates the special bond that brothers share with their sisters. It is a festival that is also celebrated in Nepal and by many Hindus who are in different parts of the world. The day is marked on the last day of the Hindu lunar calendar in the month of Shravan or Sawan and it typically falls in August, and this year Raksha Bandhan is being observed on August 3. Also Read - Raksha Bandhan 2020 Wishes: Quotes, WhatsApp Status Messages And Greetings to Share on This Day
The Sanskrit term Raksha Bandhan literally means “bond of protection”, and on this day women and girls of all ages tie a talisman, known as a Rakhi, around the wrists of their brothers as a symbol of protection. The men and boys will in turn gift their sisters money, new clothes, sweets, etc. Also Read - Punjab Govt Allows Sweet Shop to Open on August 2 For Raksha Bandhan With Strict Guidelines
History of Raksha Bandhan:
There are many versions as to how the day came to be marked and each story is totally different from the other. But a story that stands out is one of how Rani Karnavati, the widowed queen of the king of Chittor, used a Rakhi to ask for help from Mughal Emperor Humayun. It is said that when Chittor faced an invasion from the Sultan of Gujarat, Bahadur Shah, the Rani realised that she could not defend it and asked Humayun for help. As per the tale, the Emperor set off with his troops to defend Chittor, but was too late. There is, however, no record to show if any of it ever happened.
Significance of Raksha Bandhan:
The day is important as it signifies the bond between a brother and a sister and the undying love that they have for one another. The day stands for the love a brother has for his sister, and the lengths to which he would go to protect her. The tying of the Rakhi is considered sacred as it stands for the promise a brother makes to his sister that he will protect her at all cost.
How Raksha Bandhan is Celebrated:
On the day of Raksha Bandhan, married women travel back to their parents’ homes where they meet up with their brothers, who as per Indian customs, stay with their parents. While there, the women go through the ceremony of tying the Rakhi on the wrists of their brothers. In urban India, the festival has become more symbolic, but it is still carried out with a lot of fanfare. It is also performed by women and men who are not blood relatives and from different religions.