Raksha Bandhan is one of the most celebrated festivals in the Indian subcontinent. It is one of the three major Hindu festivals, the other two being Diwali and Holi. The first part of the Raksha Bandhan Festival is a seven day festival, beginning on the day Ashura and ending on Ganesh Chathur on the full moon of Shravan. This article will tell you all you wanted to know about Raksha Bandhan Festival History, what is expected from the participants and what are the rituals and customs involved in this colourful festival.
The history of Raksha Bandhan is related to that of the origin of the concept of the sacred thread. This is related to the religion of the Hindus and is believed to have been introduced by the Brahmins as a ritual that began a thousand year after the inception of the Christian religion in India. The story goes that after a dispute with the evil Brahma (God) at the time of creation, the sage Brahma converted himself into a monkey and started worshiping the sun. In order to get rid of the evil Brahma, his sister Raksha (Raksha), along with her brother Yashmir and some others, performed a ritual that caused the gods to turn against the humans.
The Raksha Bandhan festival then began as six days of fasting, followed by a seven day festival. On the seventh day, the true worship of God was made compulsory for all. The thread used in this ceremony was a red thread that had to be brought only from God Himself. The entire region was decorated and it was believed to be the house of God for a week. In addition to this, there were special prayers and hymns that were to be repeating everyday on the auspicious occasion.
On the first day of Raksha Bandhan, it was the ceremony of “Tuning the Wheels of the Blind,” in which their (priest) would pray to the Gods to help them get through their struggles. This was followed by a seven-day feast at the Kutkiyar (paradise) where the offerings of sweets were made by all. On the final night of Raksha Bandhan, the festival was ended with a grand feast in the temple of Karthik (Lord Shiva). Raksha Bandhan Special thread is made for this occasion and the thread is draped around the neck of the goddess of wisdom and knowledge, as well as the Raksha Bandhan ceremony itself.
Another tradition is that the thread used for this festival is procured from the feet of Lord Shiva himself. The thread is kept in a temple and it is believed that the thread will bring good luck and prosperity to its possessor. This is also the reason why children are chosen by women to wear the thread. Raksha Bandhan festival is celebrated not only in India but also in Pakistan and other parts of the world. It is celebrated with all pomp and show on the first and last day of the new moon of the Hindu calendar, Shraavana.
This festival signifies that Goddess Lakshmi (LAK) was not ready to be born among the mortals because she was waiting for the immortal beings to take birth. This was due to the refusal of her servants to give up their own possessions in order to obey her. The thread used on this day is the thread that was given to the mortal women by their god, in order that they can give up what was previously owned by them, on the final day of the Raksha Bandhan.