Latest World Records India 2013

Monday, 19 August 2013

Raksha Bandhan

Raksha Bandhan, (the bond of protection) or Rakhi is a Hindu festival primarily observed in India, Mauritius and Nepal(Madheshis only), which celebrates the relationship between brothers (shaurya), cousins and sisters (shreya). It is also called Rakhi Purnima in most of India. It is also celebrated in some parts of Pakistan. The festival is observed by Hindus, Jains, and some Sikhs.
In fact, the popular practice of Raksha Bandhan has its historical associations also. The Rajput queens practised the custom of sending rakhi threads to neighbouring rulers as token of brotherhood. 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. The festival falls on the full moon day (Shravan Poornima) of the Shravan month of the Hindu lunisolar calendar. One Islamic Scholar believes that Raksha Bandhan grew in popularity after Rani Karnavati, the widowed queen of Chittor, sent a rakhi to the Mughal emperor Humayun when she required his help.

Interesting facts about Rakhi

Yama, the lord of death, was blessed with eternity as his sister Yamuna tied up a Rakhi thread on his wrist. Since that time the festival of Raksha Bandhan is associated with tying of Rakhi thread.
Lord Krishna was left with a bleeding finger, after Shishupal's death. To stop bleeding, Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas, tore a strip of silk off her sari and tied it around Krishna's wrist. Touched by her concern, Krishna declared that he would protect her and promised to repay the debt manifold, and spent the next 25 years of his life doing just that.

Queen Karmavati of Chittor had sent a Rakhi to Humayun to protect her from Bahadur Shah. Humayun, then engaged in an expedition against Bengal, turned back to carry out his sacred brotherly duty and tried to protect her but was too late. Chittor had already fallen and the Rani had immolated herself in the Rajput custom of Jauhar.

Rabindranath Tagore, the Nobel laureate poet used the occasion of the Raksha Bandhan as a community festival and gave a call to tie a rakhi amongst all Hindus and Muslims so as to maintain peace and harmony between them and spread the nationalist spirit among people from different ethnic backgrounds.

Other festivals on this day

In southern and central parts of India including Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Odisha, this day (i.e. Shravan Poornima day), is when the Brahmin community performs the rituals of Avani Avittam or Upakarma.

Balarama Jayanti
This is also celebrated as Shri Baladeva birth Ceremony. Lord Krishna's elder Brother Prabhu Balarama was born on this Poornima.

Raksha Bandhan celebrations in India and Nepal
While Raksha Bandhan is celebrated all over the country, different parts of the country mark the day in different ways.

In Nepal, Raksha Bandhan is celebrated on shravan purnima. It is also called Janaeu Purnima (Janaeu is sacred thread and purnima means full moon). Janaeu is changed in this day, in Brahmins and Kshetry families. A sacred thread is tied on wrist by senior family members and relatives. Nepalese people enjoy this festival, eating its special food "Kwati", a soup of sprout of seven different grains.

Rakhi Purnima

Rakhi is celebrated as Rakhi Purnima in North India. The word "Purnima" means a full moon night.

Gamha Purnima

Rakhi is also celebrated as Gamha Purnima in Odisha. On this date, all the domesticated Cows and Bullocks are decorated and worshipped. Various kinds of country-made cakes called Pitha and sweets mitha are made and distributed within families, relatives and friends. In Oriya Jagannath culture, the lord Krishna & Radha enjoy the beautiful rainy season of Shravana starting from Shukla Pakhya Ekadashi (usually 4 days before Purnima) and ending on Rakhi Purnima with a festival called Jhulan Yatra. Idols of Radha-Krishna are beautifully decorated on a swing called Jhulan, hence the name Jhulan Yatra.

Narali Purnima
In western India and parts of Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Goa this day is celebrated as Narali Purnima. On this day, an offering of a coconut (naral in Marathi) is made to the sea, as a mark of respect to Lord Varuna, the God of the Sea. Narali Purnima marks the beginning of the fishing season and the fishermen, who depend on the sea for a living, make an offering to Lord Varuna so that they can reap bountiful fish from the sea.

Jandhyam Poornima
Jandhyam is Sanskrit for sacred thread, and Poornima denotes the full moon in Sanskrit.
The people of the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, celebrate Raksha Bandhan and Janopunyu (जन्यो पुन्यु) on the Shravani Purnima, it is a day on which people change their janeu जनेयु or जन्यो (sacred thread). On this day, the famous Bagwal fair is held at Devidhura in district Champawat. Punyu in Kumauni means Purnima or full moon it is the purnima in which the sacred thread Janeu or Janyo is ceremonially changed. The Raksha Bandhan celebrations are similar all across North India. The thread changing ceremony is done all over India.
Kajari Purnima
In central parts of India such as Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkand and Bihar this day is celebrated as Kajari Purnima. It is an important day for the farmers and women blessed with a son. On the ninth day after Shravana Amavasya, the preparations of the Kajari festival start. This ninth day is called Kajari Navami and varied rituals are performed by women who have sons until Kajri Purnima or the full moon day.

Pavitropana
In parts of Gujarat, this day is celebrated as Pavitropana. On this holiday, people perform the grand pooja or the worship of Lord Shiva. It is the culmination of the prayers done throughout the year.

Jhulan Purnima, Poonal/Jandhya Poornima/ Janyu
According to Bengali Culture and Celebration, in the state of West Bengal (India), this day is also called Jhulan Purnima. Prayers and puja of Lord Krishna and Radha are performed there. Sisters tie rakhi to Brothers and bestow immortality. Political Parties, Offices, Friends, Schools to colleges, Street to Palace celebrate this day with a new hope for a good relationship. Brahmins in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Konkan, and Odisha change their sacred threads on the same day (Janayu, called as Poonal in Tamil, Jandhyam in Sanskrit)
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