Updated: August 26, 2018 5:46:42 am
Raksha Bandhan 2018 Date in India: Raksha Bandhan is a festival that marks the auspicious bond between brothers and sisters. This age old festival symbolises the bond of love, protection, trust and compassion that binds siblings in a family. This year, the festival would be observed on August 26.
‘Raksha Bandhan’, which is more populary known as ‘Rakhi’, is celebrated not just among the Hindu community, as is commonly believed, but also among other communities.
Back in the days of the partition of Bengal, people from the Hindu and the Muslim community tied rakhis on each other’s wrists to display communal unity and also express love, tolerance and brotherhood between each other. Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore floated the idea of tying Rakhi in order to nourish communal harmony among Indians during the rule of the British empire. Also widely observed by north-western Indians residing in Pakistan and the Hindu diaspora from Nepal who have settled elsewhere, Raksha Bandhan is a festival that has long left its tag of being a Hindu festival and has evolved into a truly secular festival.
Traditionally, among Hindus, it is celebrated by the sister tying a rakhi on her brother’s wrist to express affection for the brother and seek his protection and trust in return. Some prayers are conducted before the rakhi is tied. The prayer recitations during the festival are taken from ancient Sanskrit scriptures. The brother usually gives a gift to his sister out of love and sweets are distributed. If historical texts were to be taken into account, Sikh scriptures and texts have often talked of the festival. In the texts of the Sikhs, it is often referred to as Rakhardi or Rakhari. Religions like ‘Jainism’ also celebrate Raksha Bandhan and devotees tie a sacred thread around their wrist to mark the festival.
Hindu mythology has it that when Lord Vishnu was compelled to stay with King Bali after defeating him thrice. It was because of a boon granted to him by Bali. Goddess Lakshmi, in order to get her husband back, tied a thread on Bali’s wrist and asked for a gift as a token to celebrate brother-sister relationship. When Bali agreed to give her a gift, she cleverly asked for her husband back. Bali had to fulfill her wish.
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