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Raksha Bandhan 2022

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  On Thursday, August 11th, the Hindu Festival Raksha Bandhan will be celebrated. Literally meaning ‘safety’ and ‘bond’, this day focuses on the love and duty between brother and sister. On this day, sisters tie the Rakhi, on the wrist of their brothers, depicting the unconditional faith the sister has in her brother. She also prays for his long life and applies a ‘tilak’ on the forehead of the brothers. The brothers promise to keep their sisters happy and to protect them, whilst also offering them gifts and sweets.

  The roots of the Rakhi tradition are not completely known, there are several notions. One idea is that a Rakhi was tied on the wrist of Yama, by his sister Yamuna, the Lord of Death. Yama was extremely moved by this gesture that he announced anyone wearing one and who vowed to protect his sister(s) would be given immortality. Another idea came from the Mahabharata. When Lord Krishna cut his finger and it started to bleed, Draupadi tore a piece of fabric off her saree and stopped his finger from bleeding. This piece of cloth then became known as a sacred thread. From this, Krishna promised to protect Draupadi from all evils during his lifetime. 

   From these scriptures, came the Rakhi, the band itself serves as a protection for the brothers, from the sisters, and can come in many different varieties, colours and designs. Raksha Bandhan is known as one of the most popular Hindu holidays due to the beautiful meaning behind it, the profound connection between siblings; strengthening and celebrating their closeness. Sisters gift Rakhi’s to their brothers for protection, and brothers gift them to demonstrate thanks. If a boy doesn’t have any sisters, he should ‘adopt’ one and stand up for them and similarly, girls should gift Rakhi to someone they consider as a brother. 

   Some families have the tradition for wives to wrap Rakhi around their husbands’ wrists to safeguard them from harm. In the past, Rajput Queens would send Rakhis to the Mughal Kings when they were on the war front to protect them from their enemies. As well as the gifting of the Rakhi, the brothers will give other gifts, flowers, chocolates, cakes and sweets. Families cook sweet traditional dishes and family members will wear new clothes. This festival has become such an essential tradition in Hinduism that brothers and sisters come together on this day no matter what.

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  Raksha Bandhan dates vary each year depending on the Hindu Lunar calendar cycle. It is celebrated on the Full Moon Day of the month of Shravana This year it falls on Thursday, 11 August. Next year, it will fall on Wednesday 30 August.  At House of Rajas, we stock hundreds of beautiful Rakhis with vibrant colours and unique designs. Visit us in-store for all your outfit and gift needs for Raksha Badhan. 

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