Rakshabandhan has been a subject to celebrate among the Indian demography since time immemorial and lately it has spread out to several parts in the globe through the spread of non-residential Indians all over the world. The diversity of India has been reframing the history of India all through history, (read on to find out how ) but what about the Indian Geography? How diversified is the celebration of Rakshabandhan all over the sub-continent? Read on to find out about the variance in the celebration of Rakshabandhan all over India.
Raksha Bandhan has had allusions to several folklores in North India, with the instance of Rani Karnavati sending a rakhi to emperor Humayun being the most popularly known. In Northern India, especially in the states of Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, the day of Raksha Bandhan is demarcated by the full moon also referred to as Rakhi Purnima. Brothers and sisters wear new clothes as a part of observing Rakhi and celebrate the festivals in the presence of the elders in the family, especially the grandparents. The ritual of Raksha Bandhan begins by lighting a diya to respect the deity of fire and is followed by the sisters doing arti of the brother, as the heat of the lamp is believed to protect him in the future. Following this the sister applies a tilak of kumkum on the forehead of the brother and feeds him a sweet and dry fruits to sweeten his taste of life. It is then that the holy thread of Rakhi is tied on the wrist of the brother to protect him from everything evil. The brother reciprocates by gifting the sister a gift to ensure that he shall stand as her protection always
The celebration of Rakhi has earned a different manifestation over the years in Eastern India as well. In states like West Bengal and Odisa, the occurrence of Jhulan Purnima is observed as the onset of the festivities of Rakhi. On this day idols of Radha and Krishna are worshipped for the health of the brothers before sisters tie rakhi in the hands of their brothers. The evenings are spent with families and cherished with sweets, games and delicious dishes. The cities celebrate Rakhi even among the political parties as well as in academic organizations and neighbourhoods irrespective of blood relations or kinship. In Shanti Niketan, the Rakshabandhan festival was begun by the Noble Laureate Rabindranath Tagore who aimed at establishing connection between the Hindu and Muslim brothers and unite them against the British forces
In South India, especially in the states of Maharashtra and other regions around the costal perimeters the Naraali Poornima marks the beginning of Rakshabandhan and through this festival the South Indian pray to God of the Seas. The huge community of the South Indian fishermen throw coconuts into the sea to offer it to the Sea God. It is then that the sisters tie Rakhi in the hands of their brothers and several coconut based delicacies and sweet dishes are cherished in every home. Avani Avittam is another name that several South Indian states like Tamil Nadu refer to the holy occasion of Rakshabandhan as. This practice has as well found a mention in the ancient Yajur Veda.
In Western India the festival of Rakshabandhan is referred to as ‘Pavitropana’. The ‘Shivlinga’, which is considered to be a representative of God of Gods, Shiva, is bathed by the women with mils and fruits and other delicacies are offered to Him and prayers for atonement of sins and a healthy future are made to the holy deity.
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