Rakhi Raksha bandhan festival

Indian Hindu festival - Narali purnima

Rakhi festival or raksha bandhan festival is an Indian festival. Raksha bandhan is a Sanskrit word which means ‘bond of protection.

Rakhi festival is celebrated in the month of August (Shraavan month, according to Indian lunar calendar), on a full moon day. In 2016, Raksha bandhan festival is on August 17th.

It is an immortal bond of relationship between brothers and sisters.

Raksha bandhan festival is a celebration of the love and affection between brothers and sisters.

This day is known in Maharashtra as 'narli pournima'.

There are many stories in the Indian mythology and history related to raksha bandhan, where the brother and sister love and protection is awakened by sending of the rakhi by the sister. 

Read more about Rakhi - Raksha bandhan festival recipes

How is raksha bandhan celebrated?

The shops are full of colorful rakhies. Rakhi is a colorful thread. Now you can buy rakhi online too.

The women and girls shop for a special rakhi for their special brother.

Now a day you can get rakhies to suit every budget and taste, from a simple thread to a golden amulet.

Womenfolk craft special decorative thali (plate) to place their rakhi and sweets.

Readymade decorative thalis are available too.

Gift hampers containing rakhi, sweets, dry fruits are available in many shops.

The men shop for a gift for their sisters.

The gift may be some jewelry, clothes, books, chocolates depending upon the age of the sister and the budget of the brother.

Sisters are particularly nice to their brothers just before the rakhi festival.

The brothers are of course not fooled by that.

Brother and sister meet in person whenever possible. Many travel long distance to be together on this day.

The sister ties a talisman, decorative thread - known as rakhi - on the wrist of her brother. The sister prays for the safety and well being of her brother.

The brother gives a gift to the sister and promises to look after her. The sister offers the brother his favorite delicious foods especially sweets.

A lavish feast is prepared for the brother, the sister, and the whole family.

If it is not possible to be together for some reason, the sister sends the rakhi and may be a card with her loving prayer for the well being - good health, prosperity and happiness - to her brother.

Rakhi festival is celebrated mainly by Hindus, Sikhs and jains. It is also celebrated the world over by the Indian origin people.

Though originally this is for brothers and sisters of the same biological origin, cousins, distant relations also celebrate this brother-sister bond.

Not only that, now a days, many people of different communities, religions and regions express their brotherly love and affection for other by observing this rakhi festival.

Rakhi is also shared between close friends. Women visit soldiers, hospitals, prisons to tie a rakhi of the wrists of men who are away from homes and families.

Narali poornima - full moon coconut festival in Maharashtra

In the western state of Maharashtra, raksha bandhan festival day is also known as Narali pournima and is celebrated in the month of Shravan, on a full moon day.

Poornima, paurnima, purinma means full moon day. This full moon day marks the end of the monsoon in Maharashtra.

The fishermen offer coconut(naral) to the sea as offering to show their gratitude for the livelihood provided by the sea the whole year.

Other places celebrating Rakhi festival - Narali purnima

In the state of west bengal and odisha, this day is also called Jhulan Purnima. Prayers and puja of Lord Krishna and Radha are performed there.

This festival is also celebrated in the neighboring country Nepal as ‘shravan pournima’ or janeu purnima.

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