Rakshabandhan also called Rakhi is a very auspicious hindu festival celebrated each year. It is a festival of brothers and sisters. Raksha means "to protect" and bandhan means "knot" On this festival, sisters ties a holy thread called "Rakhi" on their brothers wrist and wish them happiness,peace,prosperity and success in their life. And brothers promise their sisters that they will protect them forever from any bad and evil .
Rakhi has many stories and significance behind it.Some of the famous stories are:
King Bali and goddess Laxmi story:
According to Vishnu Purana , once Lord Vishnu won the three Worlds from the demon King Bali. Bali asked for a request and Lord Vishnu granted it. Bali requested Lord Vishnu to come and live in his palace.Lord Vishnu accepted the request and started living in Bali's palace. Goddess Lakshmi, wife of Lord Vishnu, didn't liked that Vishnu is living in Bali's palace and their growing friendship. She had an idea. Goddess lakshmi tied Rakhi on Bali's wrist and made him her brother. Bali accepted Goddess Lakshmi as her sister and offered a gift. Goddess Lakshmi then said that she wish that Lord Vishnu should return to Vaikuntha and Bali accepted that.
Santoshi Ma story :
Lord Ganesh had 2 sons Shubh and Labh. But they didn't had any sister. Once Narada Muni(Saint Narada) suggested Lord Ganesha that he should have a daughter that will enrich him and his sons. Lord Ganesha agreed to it and created a daughter with the sacred flames along with his wife Riddhi and siddhi and named her Santoshi. Santoshi means Satisfaction.Shubh and Labh had a sister which was known by the name of Santoshi Ma.And they protected her forever.
There are more stories on Rakshabandhan like "Krishna and Draupadi ", "Yama and Yamuna" each story concludes that there is an eternal bond between brothers and sisters.
Rakshabandhan is celebrated each year on the full moon day of Shravan Mass(month),the month of August. The festival is celebrated with great joy and happiness. Women start shopping for this ocassion weeks before. All the women shop for colorful sacred threads(rakhi's),new clothes, gifts for their brothers and things needed for aarti. Men also shop for gifts which they give to their sisters after they tie the sacred knot.
On the actual day of Rakshabandhan an Aarti platter is decorated and materials like oil/ghee lamp along with rakhi,sweets,little rice and kumkum and camphor are kept inside th thali. Sister sing holy prayer for their brother and perform aarti and after that they tie rakhi on their brothers wrist. Brothers in return promise their sister that they will protect them also give them some sagan or gift.
Rakshabandhan is a very sacred festival that strengthens the emotional bond between brothers and sisters .