Raksha Bandhan Celebrations

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Raksha Bandhan Celebrations

Celebrating Raksha Bandhan across India

It is not the rituals, customs and traditions that change over the time but the celebration styles and perspectives that become contemporary. For centuries this festival has been celebrated in the same way. The traditions are followed with the same enthusiasm. The gaieties have only blown up to a large scale. It is the celebration of the chaste bond of love amongst the siblings.

The preparations begin much in advance. Some twenty days ahead of the festival you can see colorful rakhis in the market. Girls start the shopping and preparations quite early. The shop for new clothes and buy rakhis specially the ones that have to be sent to the brothers staying far. The sweet shops, the garment shops, gift shops, all are flooded with things to attract people.
On the Raksha Bandhan day, the festivities start by the day break. Every one gets ready early and gathers for the worship of the deities. After invoking the blessings of the Gods, the sister performs brother’s arti, puts tika and chawal on his forehead and ties Rakhi amongst chanting of mantras. Then she gives him sweets and gifts. The brother accepts her offerings and vows to take care of her and be by her side in the time of need. As a token he gives the sister a return gift and sweets.
The Raksha Bandhan ceremony ends here and the celebrations begin. The family reunion itself is the reason for celebration. Tasty dishes, sweets, gifts, sing and dance and what not. Any Indian festival is incomplete without this.
For those siblings who for distances are not able to meet, it is a day for remembering the bygone time when the day was celebrated together. Emotions are expressed through e mails, e cards, rakhi greeting cards, and rakhis through internet or mail. Nothing on this day can stop the overflowing emotions.
Regional Celebrations
Rakhi which is an important festival in India is observed differently in various parts of the country. Though it is a festival celebrated largely in North and Western India, it holds special significance in other parts of the country as well.
Kajari Purnima : Kajari Purnima is celebrated on the same day as Rakhi mostly by the people of Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh and parts of Uttar Pradesh. The rituals of this day are performed by women who are blessed with a son. It holds a lot of significance for the farmers as it marks the beginning of the sowing season of wheat and barley.
Nariyal Purnima : Coconut Day festival or Narali Purnima is celebrated each year with loads of fun by the people of Maharashtra namely the fishermen on the full moon day in the month of Shravan. The festival coincides with Rakhi Purnima and is celebrated mostly by the fishermen.
Avani Avittam / Upakarmam : Oakhi Purnima is known as Avani Avittam in southern parts of India i.e. in Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and even in parts of Orissa. It is an important day for the Brahmins as they change their holy threads on this day. Brahmins take a holy dip and wear the holy thread called Yajnopavit or Janeyu. The first step is the 'prayashchita', which is performed as an atonement of all the sins. Mantras are read out at both times when the thread is worn and when it is taken out to be replaced with a new one.
Pavitropana : This is mostly celebrated by the people of Gujarat who are devotees of Lord Shiva. On this day water is offered to the Lord and people pray and ask for forgiveness.



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