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Rakhi - Raksha Bandhan - Hindu Festival - Festival of India

Rajan is a botany and chemistry major. He has worked as a poultry breeder for 23 years, breeding layer and broiler parents.

Rakhi 2021

Rakhi this year is on 22 August 2021

Rakhi Shopping

About Rakhi Festival

Rakhi Festival is also called Raksha Bandhan.

Raksha Bandhan is a Hindu festival celebrating the bond of love between a brother and sister. Nowhere else is it celebrated as enthusiastically and reverently as in India. Traditionally it is about 6000 years old.

Raksha Bandhan literally means the bond of protection.

This festival is celebrated in the month of August mostly, on the full moon day in the month of Shravan.

On this day sisters tie a thread called rakhi on their brother's wrist and pray for their well being. Brothers on their part vow to protect their sisters at all times.

Though Rakhi is a celebration of the sacred bond between a brother and sister who are siblings, there are numerous examples in history when rakhi was tied or sent just for protection.

Also, a woman can also tie a rakhi to someone who is a total stranger but does not have a sister and thus a bond as strong as the one between blood-related siblings follows.

Rakhi Thali

rakhi thali with diya (lamp), roli (red tilak in the cup), rakhi or mouli, sweets in another plate far end, incense stand, flowers

rakhi thali with diya (lamp), roli (red tilak in the cup), rakhi or mouli, sweets in another plate far end, incense stand, flowers

Rakhi Thali

Rakhi thali is the plate that the sister takes to her brother's home when she goes to tie rakhi to him. This thali or plate an be of brass, steel or silver. It is decorated with a diya or lamp, roli or vermillion, rakhi ( a decorative thread), some rice grains and sweets.

Three small containers having rice, roli and some water are kept in the thali. A swastika sign is drawn in the middle of the thali (swastika is the symbol of Lord Ganesha). One incense stand and a lamp (diya) are put in the thali. Rakhi and some sweets are also placed in the thali.

The thali can also be decorated with lace, betel leaves or banana leaf.

Applying Tilak

tilak is applied before the rakhi is tied

tilak is applied before the rakhi is tied

The Ritual

On the day of Raksha, Bandhan sisters take an early bath, offer prayers and then prepare a Rakhi thali (thali is a plate), adorned with a diya (lamp), roli (vermillion mixed with some water to make a paste), rice, rakhi thread and some sweets.

She then visits her brother's home to tie the rakhi. She first applies tilak on his forehead with the vermillion (roli) and a few grains of rice and then offers him, sweets. The brother blesses her and gives her gifts. The pledge of protection is one that is mutually understood.

Raksha Bandhan is an occasion for the entire family to get together and spend sometime uniting, celebrating and partaking food together. It is a festival that brings together siblings and is a reminder of the strong bond of love and protection between a brother and sister.

Tying Rakhi

sisters tying rakhi on their younger brother's wrist

sisters tying rakhi on their younger brother's wrist

Types Of Rakhis

Almost a month before the festival various colourful and fancy rakhis start arriving in the market. The earliest shoppers are the women who have to send rakhis to their brothers who live far away. Shops of all types from the biggest to the smallest have rakhis on display for sale at this time.

Different types of rakhis like cartoon rakhis, sandalwood rakhis, musical rakhis, floral rakhis, gold and silver coated rakhis, currency notes rakhis, beads rakhis etc are available in the market.

2 Historical Anecdotes About Rakhi

Although there are many historical anecdotes about rakhi, I am citing just two of them to emphasize how much importance and respect was given to this simple bond of love called Raksha Bandhan.


  • Emperor Humayun & Rani Karnawati

Rani Karnawati was the widowed queen of the King of Chittoor. At the time when she realised she could not defend the invasion of her kingdom from the Sultan of Gujarat, Bahadur Shah, she sent a rakhi to Emperor Humayun. So touched was the Emperor by this gesture that he immediately set off with his troops to defend her.

  • Alexander The Great & King Porus

King Alexander was a great warrior who conquered many countries. However, when he invaded India he encountered the fury of the Indian King Porus.

Foreseeing the imminent defeat of King Alexander, his wife sent a rakhi to King Porus. Later on, when war ensued between the two Kings, King Porus remembered the rakhi sent to him and thus refrained from killing King Alexander.

How to make Rakhi for Raksha Bandhan Style 1

How to make Woolen Rakhi

Some of my other hubs on Indian Festivals

© 2012 Rajan Singh Jolly

Comments

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on July 13, 2020:

Thanks for sharing this information Devatva.

Devatva Tripathi from LUCKNOW on July 13, 2020:

now days cadbury is also an essential part,,

i as a brother use to give gift to my sister and also took my share from same gift hahaha....

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on July 12, 2020:

Thank you, Devatva.

Devatva Tripathi from LUCKNOW on July 12, 2020:

i enjoyed it, as i find it familiar..

dealsmahan on July 29, 2017:

Nice article

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on August 20, 2013:

Thanks, Devika and glad you have happy memories associated with Rakhi.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on August 19, 2013:

Something I used to do when I was back home, not since I moved to Croatia this hub refreshed my memories of when I was back home thanks for such an interesting insight to this day.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on November 08, 2012:

Thanks for reading and commenting, jokesfb.

jokesfb on November 08, 2012:

I really like that all these sisters buy Rakhi with verh joy and Charm , Thanks for this collection www.jokesfb.com

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on August 03, 2012:

Aurelio, I'm glad you liked this. Thanks for stopping by to read and comment.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on August 03, 2012:

Thanks Jainismus. Appreciate the votes.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on August 03, 2012:

Hi Michael. Cultures the world over have so many rich traditions that it is indeed a pleasure to learn about them. I'm glad I could share one traditional custom with my readers. And happier still that it has been much appreciated.

Thanks for taking time out to read and leave your valuable input, give votes and share it also.

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on August 02, 2012:

It tells you a lot about the culture when they celebrate this relationship. Here in the U.S. we have nothing like it. Voting this Up and Interesting.

Mahaveer Sanglikar from Pune, India on August 02, 2012:

Well written, informative Hub, thank you for sharing it.

Micheal from United Kingdom on August 02, 2012:

Hello Rajan,

I have always been impressed with India and it's many courteous traditions.

This is a new one to me, and much appreciated for sharing it with us.

It would be wonderful if we had something like Raksha Bandhan in other cultures.

This is an Indian Festival that we could all benefit from.

Voted up and 4/5 votes sharing.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on August 01, 2012:

Josh, I'm glad I could share something about the Indian culture with you all. Hubpages certainly needs to be thanked for giving us all a platform to learn so many things about each other's culture.

Many thanks for reading and appreciating.

Joshua Zerbini from Pennsylvania on August 01, 2012:

Rajan,

Awesome! A neat thing about HubPages is learning about other cultures; this was very fascinating! Thanks buddy for sharing!

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on August 01, 2012:

Hi Ishwaryaa. Thanks for all the votes and sharing. Yes this mythological is very well known. Thanks for sharing it here.

Happy Rakhi day to you and your family too.

Thanks for your visit.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on August 01, 2012:

Hi Dex. I'm glad you like the festival's history and significance. Thank you. Nice to see you again.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on August 01, 2012:

Thank you so much Deborah. Much appreciated.

Ishwaryaa Dhandapani from Chennai, India on August 01, 2012:

An informative and engaging hub! Today is Rakhi day. Happy Rakhi Day to you & your family! I learnt more from your hub, especially from the historical ancedotes cited in your hub. Also there is a mythological story that Lord Krishna suddenly wounded his wrist in the battle. Draupadi torn a piece of her garment and tied it around Lord Krishna to stop it from bleeding. Lord Krishna was greatly touched by this gesture and decided to adopt her as his sister. He declared that he will always protect her and he kept his word. Lord Krishna saved Draupadi from public humiliation during the time the Pandavas lost the game to the Kauravas. This dramatically powerful story is one of the key ancedotes about one of India's most important festivals - Raksha Bandhan! A fetching hub! Well-done!

Thanks for SHARING. Useful, Awesome & Interesting. Voted up & Socially Shared

Dexter Yarbrough from United States on August 01, 2012:

Raksha Bandhan or Rakhi is a great way to show the bond between brothers and sisters. I wish we had great festivals and traditions such as this. Thanks for sharing, Rajan! I learn so much from you!

Deborah Brooks Langford from Brownsville,TX on August 01, 2012:

What an awesome tradition.. this is a great informative hub. thank you for sharing

voted up and sharing

Debbie

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on August 01, 2012:

Thanks Bill and Linda. This is a glimpse of one Indian traditional celebration. glad you liked it. Am off to bed now. It's almost 1.40 am 2nd of August. Thanks for being so quick on this.

Goodnight and take care.

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on August 01, 2012:

Awesome and interesting article Rajan! Thanks for sharing a bit of your history with us.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on August 01, 2012:

Fascinating stuff my friend. I love learning about different cultures. Thank you for schooling this old teacher!

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