HAPPY RAKSHA BANDHAN

L o v e b e a t s
Raksha Bandhan


The Festival

The relationships are the essence of celebration. This holds true for any Indian festival. Each festival brings the families together. That mere togetherness is celebration. It calls for a total festive environment. The celebration of one such relationship is Raksha Bandhan; the celebration of brother sister relationship. The sibling relationship is nowhere so celebrated as in India. The brother sister relationship is no where so worshiped as here. It is this affection and love that is celebrated on the Raksha Bandhan.

Raksha Bandhan is a festival celebrating the bond of affection between brothers and sisters. The day when the siblings pray for each others' well being and wish for each others' happiness and goodwill. As the name 'Raksha Bandhan' suggests, 'a bond of protection', Raksha Bandhan is a pledge from brothers to protect the sister from all harms and troubles and a prayer from the sister to protect the brother from all evil.

The festival falls on the Shravan Purnima (full moon day of shravan month) which comes generally in the month of August. The sisters tie the silk thread called rakhi on their brother's wrist and pray for their well being and brothers promise to take care of their sisters. The festival is unique to India creates a feeling of belongingness and oneness amongst the family.

The Significance

Though now it is considered as a brother and sister festival, it was not always so. There have been examples in history where in rakhi has just been a raksha or protection. It could be tied by wife, a daughter or mother. The Rishis tied rakhi to the people who came seeking their blessings. The sages tied the sacred thread to themselves to safe guard them from the evil. It is by all means the 'Papa Todak, Punya Pradayak Parva' or the day that bestows boons and end all sins as it is mentioned in the scriptures.

Rakhi for many centuries encompassed the warmth shared between the siblings but now it goes way beyond it. Some tie rakhi to neighbors and close friends signifying a peaceful co-existence of every individual. Congregations like Rakhi Utsavs, popularized by Rabindranath Tagore, promote the feeling of unity and a commitment to all members of society to protect each other and encourage a harmonious Social life.

The day has a deeper perspective in today's scenario. The occasion holds for a life long pledge to practice moral, spiritual and cultural values. The values and the sentiments attached to the rituals of this festival are worth inculcating by the whole human race, the sentiments of harmony and peaceful coexistence.

Raksha Bandhan assumes all forms of Raksha or protection, of righteousness and destroyer of all sin. The rakhi tying ritual has become so much a part of the families that come what may brothers and sisters try to reach out to each other on this particular day bringing back the oneness of the family, binding the family together in an emotional bond.

Importance of Rakshaa Bandhan


Around mid-August, Hindus all over the world celebrate Rakshaa bandhan. "Raksha" means protection, and "bandhan" means bound or binding.

In North India, the occasion is popularly called Rakhi, Raksha Bandhan or Rakshaa Bandhan- the tying of an amulet.

In ancient times a woman tied a 'rakshaa' on her husband's wrist to protect him from evil. Gradually this changed; she tied a 'rakshaa' on her brother's right wrist, to protect him from evil influence and those factors which may taint his character, and to strengthen the bond of sibling love between them. On the occasion of Rakshaa Bandhan she visits her brother's home and performs his 'pujan' by applying kumkum and rice grains on his forehead. In return the brother gives her a gift and vows to protect her too. The 'rakhadi' for rakshaa bandhan itself ranges from a coloured cotton string to exquisitely decorated balls of various sizes and materials such as fluffy cotton, 'zari' paper, tinsel, beads and so on.

On Rakshaa Bandhan a second imortance relates to 'Baleva' and our devotion to the Lord. Just as Bali Raja offered devotion to Lord Narayan by sacrificing his kingdom and himself, devotees should endeavor to emulate him. That is the true spirit of Baleva.

Rakshaa bandhan day is important for the priests too, as they tie rakhis on their patrons wrist and in return receive offerings from them. In some parts of the country it is customary to draw figures on the walls of their home and worship them with offerings of vermilion and kheer. The imprints of palms are also put on either side of the entrance and rakhis are stuck on them as part of rakshaa bandhan rituals. Some parts of India also reserve Rakshaa Bandhan day importance for the sacred thread changing ceremony when the young brahmin boys discard the old one and don a new one ritualistically. However, on rakshaa bandhan it is the emotions which are important. The rakshaa bandhan ceremony performed is the symbolic everlasting bond between brothers and sisters that reinforces ties between them even across continents, and it is the one which has the most importance
How to Make a Rakhi?


Rakhi is the physical symbol of the emotions involved with the festival. The emotions of love, affection and care. It is the sentiments that matter on this day and what can be a better expression of the sisterly love than a self made rakhi.

1. Rakhi is generally a decorated silk thread. It may be a simple thread or it may be decorated with beads or designer motifs, religious symbols or even studded with jewels. Here are a few tip on how you can create your own rakhi.

Material required
1. Silk threads-multi-coloured
2. Cotton thread
3. Beads, sequins
4. Scissors
5. Glue
Take a bunch of silk threads, multicolored if you want a colorful rakhi. Red and yellow are considered auspicious colors. You can also use a strand or two of golden thread. The threads should be around 30" long. Fold the length of the thread bunch to half. Tie a tight knot at one fourth of the length using the cotton thread. Cut the loops of the folded thread and fluff the open ends with a hard brush.

Divide the longer part of the thread into two halves and plat them in desired way. Tie the ends with the cotton thread and fluff the open ends. These two strands will be used for the tying.

Decorate the upper part with sequins, beads or religious motifs. If you are using multicolored threads arranged in some specific way, cut them short to a suitable length not more than ½".
Rakhi Recipes

L o v e b e a t s
Banana Cutlets
Ingredients:

6 Raw bananas
1/4 cup fresh peas, boiled
1/4 cup beet root, boiled and finely chopped
1 tbsp. each mint leaves & coriander leaves finely chopped
4-5 green chillies finely chopped
1" piece ginger grated(optional)
1/2 tsp. each mustard & cumin seeds
1/2 tsp asafetida
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
1 tsp. Amchur
oil to deep fry
1-1/2 cups Breadcrumbs
salt to taste

Method
Steam whole bananas with skins, till soft. Remove skins. Mash while still hot. And keep aside. Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a pan, add seeds, allow to splutter. Add asafoetida, mint, coriander, chillies, ginger, amchur, peas and beet root. Mix this well with the mashed bananas. Add salt and other spices as well.

Heat oil in a pan. Shape the cutlets with the mixture, roll them in the breadcrumbs and deep fry till golden brown. Drain and serve hot with green chutney or tamarind chutney or tomato ketchup

L o v e b e a t s
Vermicelli Kheer
Ingredients
1cup Roasted Vermacili
1.5 liter Milk
½ tsp. Cardamom Powder
½ tsp. Saffron
Dry fruit and resins

Boil the milk in a broad mouth pan add the roasted Vermicelli and sugar to taste. Let it boil till thick. Dissolve saffrom in 1tsp. Water. Add cardamom and saffron to the thick vermacelli and milk mixture Garnish with soaked almonds and resins.



Vegetable Pancakes
Ingredients
250 grams Besan
L o v e b e a t s3 tbsp Maida
2 tbsp cornflour
3 tbsp rice flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 Potato (large) finely chopped
1 carrot (large) finely chopped
2 onion, chopped
½ cumin powder
½ turmeric powder
3 spring onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1-1/2 cups (375 ml) oil
1 cup (250 ml) water, approximately
Salt and red chilly powder to taste
300 ml water
Oil for shallow frying.

Method
Mix all the ingredients and make a thick batter with water. Keep aside for 10 minutes. In the mean time grease a pan and heat it. Now drop the batter in 2'' rounds in the pan fry till deep yellow on both the sides. Serve hot with green chutney or tomato ketchup.


L o v e b e a t s
Pakoras
Ingredients
250 grams besan
½ tsp. turmeric
½ tsp. red chilly powder
1 tsp. dried pomegranate seeds
1 tsp. Coriander paste
1 medium sized onion, chopped
1 medium sized potato, chopped
1 green chilly chopped.
Salt to taste

Method
Mix all the ingredients to make a thick batter. Heat oil in a frying pan. Drop chunks of the batter in hot oil and fry till light brown. Drain cut into small pieces using a blint knife and re fry till crisp. Serve hot with green chuttney and tamarind chutney



Mal Pua
L o v e b e a t sIngredients
250 grams plain flour, sifted
water
1 tbsp. powdered sugar
oil for frying
Sugar Syrup
500 grams sugar
625 ml water
Garnish
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
Rose water
Fresh cream sweetened

Sugar syrup
Put sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to boil. Simmer for 8-10 minutes till thick syrup is formed.

Mix sifted flour, sugar and water to form smooth, medium thickness batter and keep aside for 30 min. Heat oil in a shallow flat bottomed pan. Carefully spread the mixture in the pan and fry till golden brown. Transfer the pancake into the sugar syrup. Serve hot garnished with cardamom, rosewater and fresh cream.


L o v e b e a t s Khoya Burfi
Ingredients
1 Lt. Milk
75 gms sugar
50 grams naryal chura (coconut powder)
20 grams pistachios, chopped
20 grams almonds, chopped

Method
Boil milk reduce heat and let it simmer for 45-minutes to one hour till thick paste like. Keep stirring in between. Add sugar and coconut powder and stir till sugar dissolces. Grease a thali and pour the batter. Garnish with pistachios and almonds. Let it cool and cut into square or rhomboid pieces.



L o v e b e a t s Tamarind Rice
Ingredients
3 cups Rice cooked with 1 tbsp butter/ghee/oil
1/2 cup thick Tamarind extract
3 tbsp Channa Dal
2 tbsp grated Ginger
2 level tsp Red Chili powder
1 level tsp Turmeric powder
1/4 tsp Asafetida powder
6-8 Green Chilies slit in two
3-4 dry Chilies
Few Curry Leaves
5 tbsp Cashew nuts (broken up and kept)- Optional
1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
Salt to Taste

Method
1. Heat ½ cup vegetable oil.
2. When the oil is hot add the chana dal, dry chillies, curry leaves, green chillies, asafetida powder or a small piece of solid Asafetida.
3. Fry until the Dal is golden brown.
4. Now, add the salt, turmeric powder, chili powder, grated ginger, broken cashew nuts and stir for a few minutes on a low flame. Don't let the turmeric and chili powder burn.
5. Boil for 15-20 minutes till the quantity reduces to half and the mixture becomes thick.
6. Put the cooked rice in a dish, add the prepared mixture and required quantity of the Tamarind extract.
7. Mix to the rice and stir well. Keep covered until ready to serve.

Greet Adorable Brothers with Rakhi SMS

  • “Holi is colorful, diwali is lightful and brightful, rakhi has made our relationship powerful. Happy Rakhi Bhai.”

  • “Bhaiyya, I will terribly miss you on this Rakhi but don't miss to send my return gifts.”

  • “Dear brother, I miss your pranks and pulling of my braids. May this bond of Rakhi protect you from all ensuing evils.”

  • “Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a superhero.”

  • “I sought my soul, but my soul I could not see. I sought my God, but my God eluded me. I sought my brother and I found all three. Happy Rakhi.”

  • “To the outside world, we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other's hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. Happy Raksha Bandhan Brother.”
Greet Lovable Sisters with Rakhi SMS

  • "Sisters is probably the most competitive relationship within the family, but once sisters are grown, it becomes the strongest relationship. Happy Rakhis dear Sis."

  • “I long for the day through the year that you so ceremoniously tie rakhi on my wrist and pray for my well being. Dear Sis, I wish that our bond grows stronger everyday. Miss you dear. Happy Rakhi.”

  • “Sister is someone who is caring and sharing. Sister can understand things you never said. She can understand pain which is not visible to anyone. I love my sister. Happy Raksha Bandhan Behan.”

  • “Dear sister! The rays of your love and blessings have made me a better human being. You are a true symbol of love and sacrifice. Happy Raksha Bandhan!”

  • “Raksha Bandhan is the commemoration of the sacred bond that exists between us. Thank god you blessed me with a sister; she means the world to me.”

  • “On this Rakhi day I wish to express all my gratitude for all that you did for me, thanks Didi, no one is like you!”
Humorous Rakhi SMS

  • Apki charcha hai har gali mein,
    har ladki ke dil me apke liye pyar hai,
    ye koi chamatkar nahi time hi aisa hai,kyonki kuch hi dino me RAKHI ka tyohar hai.”

  • “I am eagerly waiting for the Raksha Bandhan day. Guess, why? My brother has promised me a music system.”

2 comments:

Viren said...

Yes, I agree with you, here in India people do celebrate this Rakhi Festival with all fun along-with all family members. Yes, even stars also celebrate this festival in their own way. And people who are not in India, they send rakhi to india to their brothers and rakhi gifts to their loved ones here in India.

Utkarsh solitary said...

Bond of Siblings will Become stronger this Rakshabandhan. Send Rakhi to India Online or Send Rakhi to London Online and Celebrate the Joy of this Auspicious Festival.