“The love in my body and heart
For the earth’s shadow and light
Has stayed over years.
With its cares and its hope it has thrown
A language of its own
Into blue skies.
It lives in my joys and glooms
In the spring night’s buds and blooms
Like a Rakhi-band
On the Future’s hand.” –Rabindranath Tagore
The potential protector wears the band, reminding him of the promise he makes every last day of the Indian Lunar month of Savan. The day we know as the day of RakshaBandhan. But not everywhere, this day is called the same.
Let’s have a look at the different celebrations happening across the Indian Subcontinent:
- West Bengal and Odisha dedicate the day to Lord Krishna and Radha by the name of Jhulan Purnima. Beautiful sceneries mimicking the good old days of Vrindavan are sculptured. Prayers are offered to Lord Krishna. Sisters tie Rakhi to their brothers wishing immortality.
- The day of Rakshabandhan is celebrated as Naarali Purnima by the fishermen community, Koli of Maharashtra. They offer prayers to Lord Varuna. Lord Varuna, is the Hindu God of Wind and Water. The people invoke his blessing for protection against the storm in the Sea. Coconut is offered to the sea as an offering.
- In Jammu and Kashmir, the day witness the sky to be filled with kites. Kites of different shapes and colors, cover up the skies. Indeed it is an experience to witness the day in that region of India. “Gattu door” or strings are used to fly those kites. These strings are bought in scale of kilometers to celebrate the day.
- In Haryana, like elsewhere in India, sisters also tie knot on their brothers wrist. This day is known as Salono. Unlike other regions, priests here tie amulets to people’s wrist, to save them from evil.
- In Nepal people celebrates the day as Janai Purnima or Rishitarpani. It involves a sacred thread ceremony. Celebrated both by Nepalese Buddhist and Hindus alike. The Brahmins change their thread every year on this auspicious day.
Howsoever, RakshaBandhan is celebrated across India, nevertheless it remains an occasion of the string and thread.
In this information age when Rakhi has been replaced with e-Rakhi, and diya replaced with gif images, the essence of the sister-brother relationship remains intact.