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How to Celebrate Rakhi Festival :

Rakhi is a special Hindu Festival to celebrate one of the most purest and emotional bonding between a brother and a sister. The festival falls on the Shravan Purnima which is a full moon day of shravan month and which comes generally in the month of August. This festival is celebrated by all Indian brothers and sisters living in this country and even abroad.

Preparations Prior to Rakhi in India :

This festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm every year. The preparations begin much earlier than the actual day. Colorful rakhis are available in the market some 20 days before the festival. People get into a shopping mood with new clothes. Even the sweet shops start their preparations well in advance to meet the rakhi demand. There are many gift shops offering special rakhi discounts and packages. For those brothers and sisters who for distances are not able to meet, it is a day for remembering the bygone time. Sisters unable to meet their brothers send Rakhi by post or through e-mails, e-cards, rakhi greeting cards, and rakhis through internet or mail. Nothing on this day can stop the overflowing emotions. It is also customary on the part of the brother to buy gifts for his sister.

Traditional Way of Celebrating Rakhi Festival in India :

As per the tradition the family members get ready for the rituals early. First of all the offerings are made to the family deities. The sisters prepare the thali for the puja. It contains the rakhi threads, kumkum powder, rice grains and an earthen or metal lamp called diya , incense sticks (agarbattis) and sweets. The sister then performs the aarti of the brother with the thali and ties the rakhi. She then puts kumkum powder or Tilak on the forehead of the brother and offers sweets. While performing the ritual, the sister prays for her brother's well being and the brother in turn blesses the sister and promises to protect her from the evils of the world. He gifts something to her as a token of his love and affection.

Rakhi Festival Celebrations in Different Parts of India :

Rakhi is celebrated in different parts of India in different ways but the significance remains the same.

Rakhi in West India:

In the Western Region, the festival is known as Nariyal Purnima and as a ritual coconuts are thrown into the sea on this day. The festival marks the beginning of the fishing season.

Rakhi in South India:

In South India, this festival is called Avani Avittam. It is an important day for the Brahmins where they first take a holy bath and then change their holy thread (Janeyu) chanting the mantras. They take a vow to perform their duties as prescribed in the holy books and adopt a good conduct and dignity.

Rakhi in North India:

In North India, Rakhi Purnima is also called Kajri Purnima or Kajri Navami, when wheat or barley is sown. Goddess Bhagwati is worshiped and farmers seek her blessings for a good crop.

Rakhi in East India:

The great Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore initiated the 'Rakhi Utsava' (Rakhi tying ceremony) in Shanti Niketan to maintain universal brotherhood long back in 1905 at the time of Bengal Partition. But the custom is continued till date by the students of the Shanti-Niketan.

Sending Gifts to your brother on Raksha Bandhan :

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