New Delhi: Even as all celebrations and festivals are dampened by the outbreak of Covid-19, people are exploring ways to celebrate relationships that are closer to their hearts and Raksha Bandhan is one occasion. With the spike in cases in India and elsewhere, there is no appetite to venture out to choose the quirkiest rakhis available in the market. Most of sisters ordering rakhis online and demand for Chinese made rakhis has fallen drastically. There are a variety of designs such as agate rakhi, food trails rakhi etc which have become a rage this season. Even though the fun might be missing but the festival holds a lot of significance.
Let us see the importance of the day and how families are looking to celebrate it in 2020. Raksha Bandhan or better known as Rakhi is a day dedicated to siblings which mark the bond shared by sisters and brothers. The word ‘raksha’ in Hindi means safety and also denotes the pure bond which the siblings share.
The festival is observed each year on the full moon during the Hindu month of Shravan and in the calendar year 2020 the day falls on August 3. A particular time during the day is seen as auspicious to perform the ritual in which the sister ties a rakhi on the brother’s wrist. This year, the ‘muhurat’ begins at 9:28 in the morning India time and remains till 9:17 in the night.
Like most rituals observed by Hindus, Raksha Bandhan also finds its root in history and mythology. As per the legend at the events of the Mahabharat, Lord Krishna who accidentally hurt his finger because of the powerful ‘sudarshan chakra’, it was Princess Draupadi who quickly slit a piece of her saree and tied it to the finger to prevent the bleeding. This particular act won the heart of Lord Krishna and he promised to become her protector and savior.
Among the Rajptus, Raksha Bandhan holds special significance. One account related to Rani Karnavati of Chittor and Mughal Emperor Humayun, which dates to 1535 CE. When Rani Karnavati, the widowed queen of the king of Chittor, realized that she could not defend against the invasion by the Sultan of Gujarat, Bahadur Shah, she sent a rakhi to Emperor Humayun. The Emperor, according to one version of the story, set off with his troops to defend Chittor. He arrived too late, and Bahadur Shah had already captured the Rani’s fortress.
In today’s time, the day is marked to emphasize the bonding between siblings and that both will take care of each other in difficult times. Apart from the religious significance, the day offers a reason to the loved ones to meet and exchange gifts and shower love on each other. Those siblings who don’t have a brother rakhis are usually tied on their elder sister’s hand or celebrated with friends and distant relatives especially if it’s a single child.
It doesn’t really matters how the traditions are carried forward but the most important thing is to make your loved one feel special and emphasize that there is always someone to protect and care.