In every year during the period of July-August, Indians across various parts of the country celebrate Rakhi festival with much enthusiasm. This festival captures the true spirit of India's rich cultural heritage. The mode of celebration for this joyful event has changed with time but the purpose and rituals of Rakhi have remained unchanged. To pray for a prosperous life and elimination of all negativities in life are the solemn purposes of this celebration. This ceremony is an attempt to uphold peace and harmony all over the country.
Rituals of Rakhi
On this occasion, sisters remain busy in preparing foods for the festival and organize Rakhi Puja Thali, necessary for various types of rituals. After chanting prayers before God, a sister ties the sacred thread of Rakhi on her brother's wrist. Exchange of sweets and gifts is an essential part of this ceremony. Both of them vow to protect each other from all the evils of life. To them, Raksha Bandhan festival provides an opportunity to express the feeling that they sincerely care for each other.
Different Methods of Rakhi Celebration
Usually the Hindus and some Sikhs regard it as festivals. The event of tying Rakhi is popular as Rakhi Purnima or Raksha Bandhan in major parts of India. But this festival is known by different names in different parts of India. The method of celebration also differs in different states of India. North Indians and West Indians celebrate this festival with much vigor.
Rakhi Celebration in southern parts of India
In Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and certain parts of Orissa, the Rakhi festival is known as Avani Attam or Upakramam. According to a legend, Lord Vishnu brought back the stolen Vedas of Lord Bhrahma on this day. That is why Brahmins in ancient India considered this day as an auspicious day to begin Vedic studies. This day has special significance to the males belonging to the Brahmin community of those states. In this sacred event, the Brahmins of those states change their threads through some rituals.
Rakhi Celebration in Eastern Parts of India
In states like Bihar, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh, people call Rakhi festival Shravani or Kajari. This day has special significance to farmers and women residing there. An interesting aspect of this festival is that the women, who have given birth to male children, can perform the rituals of the festival. On that very day, women collect a cup of soil to store it in a dark room. They worship the room for seven days till Kajari Purnima arrives. They offer prayers to God for the well being of their child, members of their family and for a good harvest.
Rakhi Celebration in Western Parts of India
For the people of the states of Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat and Karnataka, this festival is known as Nariyal Purnima or Coconut Full Moon. Through these joyful events, the fishing community there celebrate the new beginning of fishing season. Their livelihood completely depends on sea. Therefore, fishermen offer coconut to the God Varuna along with prayers as part of rituals,
Rakhi Celebration by Gujarati Community
In some parts of Gujarat state, Pavitropana is the celebration of Rakhi festival. On this occasion, the Gujarati community worships Lord Shiva with much celebration. They offer milk, honey, coconut water, curd and water to the deity. People in Gujarat believe that being the symbol of destruction, Lord Shiva will demolish all types of negativity and bring prosperity in the earth.
In short, the celebration of Rakhi festival in different parts of India represents diverse cultural background of the country. The purpose of celebration is the same irrespective of region. It aims to seek blessings from God and elders and pray to escape all types of negativity in life. Therefore, it can be said that Rakhi festival symbolizes unity of thought and emotion.
Rakhi celebration across India represents the amalgamation of rich culture of India. It reflects the idea of unity in diversity which is the essence of India.