Raksha Bandhan

If asked to write an essay as a kid, I would have started thus: “Raksha Bandhan is one of the most important festivals in India to celebrate the beautiful bond of togetherness and love between a sister and a brother.  On this day, a sister ties a sacred thread on his brother’s wrist and in return, the brother vows to protect his sister against all odds, in thick and thin”.

Done. This is not an essay and I am not a kid anymore.  Nevertheless, I chose to write a blog on this festival because of the excitement, beauty and cuteness it adds to my life.

One aspect you need to aware of, about Indian festivals, is all the moolah it creates, much before the event actually occurs.  Raksha Bandhan will be celebrated all over India on 18th August. However, preparations are already in full swing. These include buying rakhis, preparing small sachets of kumkum and rice, writing letters and buying gifts.

In olden days, rakhis used to be single threaded objects, just to symbolizes the associated traditions.

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With human evolution and large scale commercialization,  design and nature of rakhis have evolved too. Now in addition to sacred threads, you get to buy special “Bhaiya -Bhabhi (brother’s and sister-in-law’s) rakhis, kids rakhis, based on latest cartoon characters, lumbis and bangle rakhis for girls.

Let me show you couple of them.

This image shows the traditional rakhi, tied on a brother’s wrist.

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Now, if my bro is married, I need to ensure that I rope in my sister-law as well in the eternal vow to protect and care for me. Thus came the concept of  “Couple Rakhis” .

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Well, what if I have a sister. She needs to share her pocket money with me and ensure that I am always shielded from my mom’s wrath . Hence, there are so called lumbi and bangle rakhis for girls.

Bangle Rakhi

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Gold and Silver Lumbi: You are supposed to tie this in your bangle and I find them super cute.

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Next is the turn of the most excited generation – the 1-8 yr old, who cannot wait enough for the rakhi and the gifts.

I am blessed to have 2 cutie pies around – who are just 6 yrs old and ensure that their elder sister ties enough rakhis to fill their entire hand. This is what I had got for them:

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Surprise!! these glow too:

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Apart from rakhis,  the tradition demands  applying a “Tilak” of  kumkum and rice on  brother’s forehead. What if my bro is in a different city, how do I send these stuff to him? simple, just buy them off the self in a portable format , as shown below.

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However, if distance is not what keeps you apart, decorate a “Rakhi Thali” and celebrate the festival in its full Avataar.

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There is a caveat though: Ensure you do not hurt the sentiments of a guy (unrelated) by tying a rakhi on his wrist and pronouncing him as your “Rakhi Brother”. Don’t complicate relations. It never helps in the long run.

Happy RAKSHA BANDHAN!!

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