Raksha Bandhan celebrations have a history of almost 6000 years since the beginning of Indus valley civilisation and Aryans settling in Bharat. There are mythological references where Indrani, the wife of King Indra ties a sacred thread to his wrist before his war with demons to keep him. On the other hand Brihaspati ties a sacred thread on the wrist of King Indra to keep him safe when demons have attacked the heaven. And the Mahabharata reference is known by all, where Krishna cut his finger and finds it bleeding heavily, when Draupadi ties a piece of her saree to his finger to stop the bleeding. These might have been the instances which started the Raksha Bandhan tradition.
But the more recent reference was when Bahadur Shah of Gujarat attacked Mewar, the widowed queen of Chittor, Rani Karnavati wrote a letter with a rakhi to King Emporer Humayun asking him to protect her and her region. The King was touched and immediately came for her help. This was when Raksha Bandhan became famous all over Hindustan.
The reason may be anything, but these festivals give a reason for us to come together as a family to rejoice and celebrate.
Raksha Bandhan – Celebrations
The bond celebrating the special relationship between a brother and a sister is Raksha Bandhan. The sister generally ties a rakhi on the right wrist of the brother after applying kumkum on his forehead. Rakhi means a decorated thread which can be tied on the wrist of the brother. She then gives him sweet and gets a gift in return. Family get together followed by lunch and exchange of gifts is the highlight of the day!
People in north east call it the Shravan Pournima, where as the people in Maharashtra call it Narali Pournima (the sweet is made from coconut). Gujarat celebrates it as Pavitropana, i.e. the day when Lord Shiva got rid of all his sins. And the people in southern India celebrate this day as Avani Avittam and men exchange their old Janeyu, the holy thread for a new one. In certain parts of West Bengal and Odisha, Jhulan Purnima is celebrated on this day to celebrate the special relationship of Radha and Krishna.
May it be any of these celebration, the essence of Raksha Bandhan, the tradition to celebrate the bond of brother and sister remains the same throughout the country.
1] Rakhi special DIYs
You can plan your own DIYs to make this raksha bandhan celebration even more special –
- Making a Rakhi
- Decorating a thali for Rakhi
- Decorating your house for Raksha Bandhan celebration.
Making a rakhi at home can be as easy as innovative as you want to be. You can make it from the material available at home or flaunt an expensive from DIY kits. I will suggest make it from the material available at home to give it more personal touch. All you will need is a decorative thread, some materials to decorate it with and some glue.
Here are some simple ideas to make Rakhi at home – Rakhi DIYs.
Decorating the thali for rakhi can also be a fun activity. There are various ways in which you can celebrate a rakhi thali – using flowers, pearls, mirrors and other decorative materials. Just ensure that it is big enough to hold all the items required for the puja.
Check out this blog for more fun ideas to decorate a thali – Thali DIYs.
2] Raksha Bandhan – Lunch plan
Another important part of Raksha Bandhan celebration is the deserts and sweets and of course the lunch plan. Make sure you include loads of sweets in your menu plan to woo your brother! In any case you are getting gifts from him!
Read our blog on ‘Raksha Bandhan menu plan‘ to plan the meal of the day perfectly!
3] Gift ideas for your brother
Gifts are the highlight of this celebration. I remember when we were small we were less interested in tying a rakhi and more interested in checking out what we are getting as a gift. In early days brother used to bring some gift for the sister and sister used to cook good food for him. But with changing times where the sisters are earning more and might just order food from outside, sisters have also started buying gifts for their brothers. So, just in case you are not sure where to start looking for a perfect gift, here are few new age gift ideas from Femme Fiesta team –
a. Healthy year gift
An online yoga class or a cure fit membership can be the best thing you can give for your brother’s health next year.
Or you can gift him with a gym equipment to be used at home. You can also match it with sportswear he will be able to flaunt.
b. Fashion special gift
Buy him something latest in fashion from Myntra. Either those shoes he has been eyeing for quite a few months or the watch or just something which would look great on him.
Since its the age of work from home, gift him bluetooth headphone for his virtual calls. You can also gift him a fitness watch to count all those he has been making during the calls!
d. Work from home gifts
Gift him a perfect home office accessory like a planner, planter or post its and a marker set. He would love you for making his home office interesting.
e. DIY gifts
Do not underestimate the value of a DIY gift! Choose something your brother will like from this blog. Make it for him and I am sure he will treasure it for many more years to come.
You might also like – Anniversary gifts from Year 1 to Year 10!
4] Fun activities you can plan at home for kids
Rakhi celebration also means families getting together celebrating, laughing and looking forward for an enjoyable time together. Amongst this chaos you might need help in planning some unique activities for the kids so they cherish the memory of this day till they grow up. Here’s a list of few of those activities for kids to keep them busy and excited –
a. Treasure Hunt
Make a treasure hunt and keep the gifts at the end of it. Let the kids find the gifts by following the clues. You can make it interesting by punishing the losers with creative punishments.
b. Prepare a skit
The kids can prepare a quick skit of the story of Draupadi and Krishna, where Krishna cut his finger and Draupadi tied a piece from her new saree to stop the bleeding. In return, Krishna saved her from being embarassed by Duryodhana when Yudhishthira lost her in a bet. It can be fun to peep into our mythology.
c. Prepare your own rakhi – competition
You can have a DIY packs of rakhis and ask the kids to make their own rakhi and turn it into a competition. It should not take more than an hour but they would enjoy it more if they get to tie the rakhis made by themselves and win the prizes.
4. Build a family tree
It would be fun to ask the kids to build the family tree on a huge chart paper. They can take help from all the relatives present at the get together. You can make copies for all the families present as a return gift too.
5. Passing the parcel
This game has been everybody’s favourite since the days of ‘Hum aapke hai koun’!! And it can get really interesting, if you plan for some creative punishments for the losers. Eg – Tell the most embarrassing moment till now, Mimic the favourite teacher, etc
6. Fashion parade
Fashion show can be another fun kids activity. Pair them up and ask them to make costumes for each other from the newspapers. Put on some groovy music and ask them to do a fashion show on these tunes. Do not forget to click photographs and shoot a video. You will cherish these memories when they grow up!
7. Give them chef hats
You can give them chef hats and ask them to prepare some simple snack or a starter. For example they can prepare cherry cheese pineapple or a fruit salad. You would be relieved of preparing at least one item from your menu and the kids will enjoy messing around and preparing something everyone will enjoy.
If you are successful in planning these fun kids activities, be sure to upload the pics and tag us #thinkmetime #femmefiesta!!
Till then, Enjoy the festivities! Happy Raksha Bandhan!!