How many days : 1
Where in India : Northern part of India
Raksha Bandhan meaning the bond of protection or Rakhi is a festival primarily observed in Northern India, which celebrates the relationship between brothers and sisters. The festival is observed by Hindus and Sikhs. The central ceremony involves the tying of a rakhi (sacred thread) by a sister on her brother’s wrist. This symbolizes the sister’s love and prayers for her brother’s well-being and the brother’s lifelong vow to protect her.
Although Raksha Bandhan is the celebration of the bond of love between brothers and sisters, there are numerous legends associated with the origin of Rakhi. If we try to find out the origin behind Rakhi we will have to refer to Hindu like the other festivals. Raksha Bandhan nurtures a varied and rich heritage of legendry epics. According to Bhavishya Purana (Vedic scripture) there was a battle between the Gods and demons and Indra (the king of the Gods) was defeated by the demons and he was shattered. At that time on advice of Guru Brihaspati (the guru of Devtas) Indra’s wife, Sachi took a silken thread, popularly known as ‘Raksha’ and blessed it with sacred verses for protection and tied it on Indra’s wrist. As a result, the strength of the sacred thread helped Indra conquer his enemies. A Rakhi is considered as a gesture of goodwill and protection and later on grew as a festival between brothers and sisters.
In the pages of history, we have read that Rakhi had played an important and significant role in building strong relations and bonds among rulers and kingdoms. For instance, Alexander’s wife Roxana believed to have tied a Rakhi to King Porus’ wrist and during that time due on battlefields, he had to restrain himself from attacking Alexander inspite of having numerous opportunities. Even history evidences show that during the Mughal period, the custom of tying Rakhi’s helped bind the Hindu Rajputs and Mughal rulers together. According to legend, when Bahadur Shah of Gujarat attacked Rani Karnavati of Chittor, she sent a Rakhi to Humayun as bond of love and requested him to help. All of these legends associated with the festival, teach us one thing that there is nothing above true love and affection and it is this bond of togetherness that binds us.