Rakhi Customs and Traditions
Raksha Bandhan is one of the oldest festivals of India. Siblings celebrate this festival with lots of joy and enthusiasm. The preparation of Rakhi begins a month before the actual date of the festival. Shops in the markets get filled with variety of colorful Rakhis. Sister gets busy buying variety of Rakhis and gifts for her dear brother. Mouth-watering Indian sweets such as Kaju Barfi, Motichoor laddu, Kaju Katli, Peda etc are of great demand during this festive occasion. Sisters buy as well as prepare these tasty sweets. This popular festival has great strength to bring all the family members and siblings under one roof.
Rakhi custom performed by the sister
In the early morning, everyone of the family takes a bath, wears new traditional apparels and gets ready for festival. Sister prepares the Rakhi thali which includes shagun items such as roli tikka, chawal (rice), aagarbati (incense stick), diya, Rakhi threads and sweets.
At first, she offers prayers to God. This is followed by the Rakhi ritual. She performs aarti of her brother, ties the sacred Rakhi thread on his wrist, puts roli & chawal tilak on his forehead and offers sweets. While performing these ritualistic customs, she chants holy mantras :-
"Suraj Shakhan chhodian, Mooli chhodia beej
Behen ne rakhi bandhi / Bhai tu chir jug jee",
The meaning of the above lines "The sun radiates its sunlight, the radish spreads its seeds,
I tie the rakhi to you O brother and wish that may you live long."
"Yena baddho Balee raajaa daanavendro mahaabalah
tena twaam anubadhnaami rakshe maa chala maa chala"
These lines means," I tie you the rakhi that was tied to king Bali, the king of Demons,
O Rakhi I pray that you never falter in protecting your devotee.
By performing these traditional customs, she tries to protect her brother from any hazard.
Rakhi custom performed by the brother
The brother too has some responsibilities. He blesses his sister and promises to take care of her in any difficult situation. He even conveys love and care to his sister by presenting amazing Rakhi return gifts.
This is the core custom of the Rakhi festival. However, with the passage of time some changes have occurred. For instance, now-a-days sisters hardly chant mantras while tying Rakhi thread. Many of them are unaware of the mantras. Even sometimes sister who stays abroad, hardly gets time to be with her brother on Rakhi. In this case, she celebrates the festival by sending Rakhi to India online.