India is known for its festivals and rich traditions that are known to make relationships stronger and bring families closer. The festival of Raksha Bandhan unites sisters and brothers in the long-lasting bond of mutual faith and love. Sisters tie Rakhi (a sacred thread) on their brothers’ wrist and seek their promise to protect them. Brothers express their love in return by gifting them. Here are some of the lesser-known facts about Rakhi or Raksha Bandhan.
- The Hindu Mythology reports that Lord Indra’s wife, Indrani tied a thread over his wrist when it came to fight with demons. The significance of relationship gradually changed and then sisters tie the knots to the wrist of their brother.
- It is known that a boon is given by Lord Vishnu to King Bali and allowed him to stay at his palace but Lakshmi didn’t like it. She tied the thread to the demon Bali and asked him to leave Lord Vishnu in return.
- When Shubh and Labh, sons of Lord Ganesha, saw Rakhi on his wrists, they demanded for a sister. They also wanted to celebrate Raksha Bandhan. By granting their wish, Lord Ganesha generated their sister from the fire. She is then called as Santoshi Maa.
- Another story behind Rakhi is that Draupati tore a cloth piece from her saree to tie on the hand of Lord Krishna when he harmed his hand when flying the kite. Lord Krishna promised her for protection in return. He fulfilled his promise during Cheer Haran.
- Raksha Bandhan also has another story. It is believed that wife of Alexander The Great sent a Rakhi to King Porus. In the battlefield King Porus won but restrained to kill him.
- According to another legend, Chittor’s Rani Karnavati sent a thread to King Humayun to seek protection of her kingdom because it was under attack from Bahadur Shah, Sultan of Gujarat. Humayun gone on board to help her but it’s too late. Despite the death of queen while fighting, Humayun still defeated the king and handed over the kingdom to her son.
- Rabindranath Tagore, the great poet and freedom fighter, also tried to improve the relationship between Muslims and Hindus by requesting them to tie this thread to one another. He tried to unite them in the battle against colonial rule.
- Raksha Bandhan is celebrated with great fervor and joy all around the nation. Sisters tie Rakhi to their brother by visiting to their place and feed them desserts and sweets. Brothers also shower their sisters with gifts and Shagun.
- On Sharva Purnima, Raksha Bandhan is celebrated every year and it falls in the month of August on full moon day.
- Raksha Bandhan is celebrated in Kumaon, Uttarakhand in a unique way. Before tying the Rakhi, men also have to change Janeu, their sacred thread tied across their body. This is a great festival that imparts a unique strength to the relationship between brother and sister every year.