Salmon rose in San Francisco Garden

Salmon rose in San Francisco Garden
The rose speaks of love silently, in a language known only to the heart.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sundays in My City - Raksha Bandhan - August 10, 2014


from Bing Images, domain free


Spending so much time in India, I've had the pleasure of experiencing many
of its religious and cultural celebrations and holidays.  Raksha Bandhan is one
of my favorites and I wish we had a counterpart in the United States.  It is a Hindu
festival which celebrates the love and duty between brothers and sisters.  It
has also come to celebrate any such devoted relationship between men and 
women who are not related biologically.

Raksha Bandhan is an ancient festival, celebrated worldwide by Hindus, Jains,
and many Sikhs.   On the full moon day ( Shravan Poornima ), a sister ties a rakhi
( sacred thread ) around her brother's wrist, symbolizing her love for him.  She
offers prayers for his well-being and for his life-long vow to protect her.  The brother,
then, affirms his promise to protect his sister.  It is a festival which affirms family ties.

Preparations for Raksha Bandhan may begin well in advance.  Many sister weave
the rakhi for their brothers.  Some keep it simple with colorful string.  Others add
amulets and stones


This symbolizes the sister's love and prayers for her brother's well-being, and the brother's lifelong vow to protect her.[10][11] The festival falls on the full moon day (Shravan Poornima) of the Shravan month of theHindu lunisolar calendar.[12]




            
 Raki bracelets, Bing Images, Domain free


The ceremony, typically, is performed in the morning, in front of parents and other family, 
with a diya ( lighted candle ), rotated around the brother's face, while the sister prays. 
 After prayers, the sister applies a mark ( tilak ) to her brother's forehead.  Next, the
sister feeds the brother some sweets from a rahki tray.



                                             

There are many websites and resources available if you would like to know more
about this special Hindu festival.  It is one of my favorites.  

I am participating in Unknown Mami's


How was your Sunday?  Let us know in this forum!






http://www.raksha-bandhan.com/ ( includes recipes, quotes, jokes and much information )


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raksha_Bandhan

http://www.raksha-bandhan.com/



18 comments:

  1. This was a fascinating post, describing a holiday and beautiful custom I knew nothing about.

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I first learned of it a couple of years ago when I spent five months in Jaipur. My friend, the manager of the Umaid Mahal Hotel took me to his rural village so I could meet his family and I watched the ritual between him and his sister. Very touching and a sweet custom.

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  2. So beautiful. I wish we had something like that here too.

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    1. It's nice to be invited to a home where this takes place - as I was a couple of years ago.

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  3. Thank you for sharing a stroy of the beautiful tradition.

    Romi @ Letters from the Land of Cherry Blossoms

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it. It's is one of my favorite of the Hindu celebrations.

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  4. I noticed you've traveled a lot - have you been to Scandinavia?
    We need love - rapes in India, wars all over the globe....People are educated more than ever but we haven't learn nothing from earlier crisis, conficts...war is not an answer - it's always a small human being who's suffering most...

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    1. My only Scandinavian experience was a wonderful cruise about 15 years ago with day stops in all the Scandinavian capitals. Our only overnight was in Copenhagen. What an incredibly beautiful, pristine part of the world. I always wanted to go back to spend a couple of weeks but never managed it.

      We have moved ahead a great deal in the U.S. in terms of providing services for rape victims, especially in the use of nurses to collect evidence ( I was a sexual assault nurse examiner for San Francisco for 21 years ), education of law enforcement and providing advocates for victims. Countries like India, though, will take decades before they advance that far.

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  5. Thank you for an enlightened post.

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    1. I was happy to share this lovely Hindu custom.

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  6. :-) So nice to visit you, Carmen! Raksha Bandhan is a wonderful festival and is celebrated in different ways throughout the country! Hugs!
    How have you been?

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    1. Hi Vidya....it is good to be "home" in India. I can't believe almost a month has passed. It was fun being with my little granddaughter for nearly eight months - though I did take a month to visit my homeland - the southern U. S. and friends of 50 years - and my mother who only recognized me for a moment, the week of her 90th birthday. I, myself, will be 70 in October so this may well be my last India visit.

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  7. sweet. I hadn't heard of that tradition.

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    1. It is such a nice custom and I love seeing all the men with their raki bracelets on their wrists for months afterwards.

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  8. It is so nice that you get to enjoy different culture right in its country!

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    1. That is one of the nice things about being here in India...several different religions and their holidays, all the different foods and, for the most part, people get along pretty well.

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  9. Siblings day does sound nice. Of course I don't have any, but I have some good male friends.

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    1. I have only one brother and we are not at all close. Like you, though, I have some wonderful male friends with whom I could easily celebrate "brother-sister" day.

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