Why Rakhi? Rakhi Festival in India

Raksha Bandhan or Rakhi is of great significance in Indian cultural ethos. It is a festival signifying the essence of the relationship between a brother and a sister. Like any other Indian festival, Rakhi is the celebration of togetherness and love. Raksha Bandhan means bond of protection . It is the affection, admiration, love, fondness, respect and emotional bonding between a brother and a sister that is the meaning of rakhi festival.
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. On this day, the sisters tie a 'rakhi' or a 'thread' on their brother's wrist and pray for their well being and brothers in return promise to protect their sister from all kinds of problems and difficulties. There is also the custom of giving a gift by the brother to the sister after tying the rakhi.

Significance of Rakhi - Rakhi Festival in India

The kaleidoscope of Indian culture showcases various colorful festivals, fairs and occasions that are celebrated with much joy and fervor. These festivals herald the message of brotherhood and fraternity among all human beings. Among such auspicious occasions the Rakhi festival holds so much importance for the Hindu community in India and abroad. On the festival of Rakhi or Raksha Bandhan, sisters tie a thread on their brother's wrist and in return the brother pledges to protect her when the need arises. This fragile thread of Rakhi, which reflects an unconditional bond of affection between brothers and sisters, is considered more stronger than the iron chains.

This festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm every year. The preparations for celebration of Rakhi, which is one of the most awaited festival in India, starts much earlier than the day it falls. The markets are flooded with Rakhis in myriad colors, designs and shapes complimented with Rakhi special gifts, sweets and other items. Girls start preparations and shopping quite early. They shop for new clothes and buy rakhis, specially the ones that have to be sent to the brothers staying far. 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 will 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.

Though now Rakhi 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 priests 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. Some people tie rakhi to neighbors and close friends signifying the special bond shared between the two. Rakhi is not only a symbol of fond relationship between brothers and sisters but also a symbol of warmth and compassion shared between the communities as a whole.

Raksha Bandhan assumes all forms of protection, righteousness, friendship, well being 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 togetherness and emotional bonding of the family. Rakhi Festival not only strengthens the bond of love and affection between brothers and sisters but also brings friends and strangers closer. When a rakhi is tied on the wrists of anyone it acts as a way to connect individuals on a new platform and brings them closer.

What makes you feel proud of being an Indian?

What makes you feel proud of being an Indian?

Come on lets share your thought.

We can harp about inflation. Worry about instability at the Centre. Cry about terrorism. And condemn corruption. OR shout that we are big in Information Technology. Most of our professionals give foreigners a run for their money. Despite all opposition we still maintain our stance on Nuclear deal. As Indians we have many reasons to crib and even more to be proud of our country. What's your choice? What makes you a proud Indian?

Happy Independence Day!

Freedom is not Right but a Feeling- Happy Independence Day

Happy Independence Day

Freedom is not Right but a Feeling!
Let`s be proud to feel the Freedom!
Let`s say loud we are INDIANS!!!
Let all of us get to-gather and
Let`s Celebrate Our Freedom!
Jai Hind!

What does freedom mean for you in the current context?

India is fast approaching its 61st Independence Day. It will pass of as just another day for some and some of us might give a thought to what it means for us. Freedom can mean differently to all of us. From quitting your job to taking a sabbatical. From raising your voice against an issue which has been dragging for some time to letting go and relaxing? We are for sure grateful to the freedom fighters who have got this priceless independence. But the meaning of freedom has changed since then. What does freedom mean for you?

15 August Independence Day Celebration in India

August 15, Independence Day, is celebrated in a mood of abandon and joy - no rituals, just festivities. It is also a national holiday, with educational institutions, private and government organisations remaining closed, but for official celebrations in the morning.

Schools and colleges mark the day with cultural activities, drills, flag hoisting and distribution of sweets. Government as well as private organisations celebrate it similarly.

Families and friends get together for lunch or dinner, or for an outing. Housing colonies, cultural centres, clubs and societies hold entertainment programmes and competitions, usually based on the freedom theme.

The Prime Minister sets the mood by hoisting the national flag and addressing the nation from the Red Fort, the historical monument in Delhi. This is accompanied by a march-past of the armed and police forces. Similar ceremonies are held in all the state capitals. The Prime Minister's address and the march-past are relayed live on national television.

In cities, one sees a sudden burst of saffron, green and white, the Indian tri-colour. The media goes to town with a variety of contests, promotions and programmes related to Indian independence. Television channels show patriotic movies and relentlessly play patriotic songs from old and new Hindi movies. Billboards on roadsides for different brands pay their tribute to the nation.

Everyone seems to have something going for them. Shops and petty tradesmen sell a range of Independence Day merchandise such as flags, stickers, tee-shirts and greeting cards. Street urchins hawk paper and plastic flags and tri-coloured balloons to motorists at traffic signals.

Though a trifle commercial and jingoistic, what lies beneath the celebrations is the national spirit of gaiety, pride and hope for a better future. A spirit and hope that is renewed each year.

History of Indian Independence Day

At the stroke of midnight, as India moved into August 15, 1947, Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first Prime Minister, read out the famous speech proclaiming India's independence.

The moment ended three centuries of British colonial rule. The land was no longer the summer retreat of British sahibs who fancied spices, shikar, elephants and snake-charmers.

Independence was also the end of nearly a century of struggle for freedom, battles, betrayals and sacrifices. It also created a situation where we were responsible for ourselves.

But it wasn't a period of unqualified joy. For a lot of people, in spite of a new era promised by independence, partition was a painful reality and so was the bloodshed that accompanied it. That was 53 years ago. Much has changed; the struggle for freedom lives on in history books and memoirs, and on the tombstones of valiant martyrs. Politics has undergone a personality change from fiery idealism to a pragmatic cynicism. Karma drives the nation on its way forward, and population has crossed the billion mark.

But, come August 15, and the people put their troubles behind them for a while, as they stand up as a nation for the National Anthem. Along with the soaring cadences of the anthem, the hopes and dreams for a better tomorrow are renewed in political speeches and replays of the deeds of those who earned us our freedom.

Independence Day is an occasion to rejoice in our freedom and to pay collective homage to all those people who sacrificed their lives to the cause. But it is more than that. It also marks the coming together of more than 400 princely states into one nation - India. This was probably our biggest diplomatic success.

Each year, August 15 gives us the reason to celebrate all this, and do much more - it is a time to contemplate what we have and how we achieved it.

Though India had no dearth of religious and community festivals, there was, till Independence, no true national festival that the whole country could partake of. Independence Day, beginning as a day to commemorate the greatest moment in Indian history, has now come to signify a feeling of nationalism, solidarity and celebration.

Independence Day remained the sole national festival till India declared itself a republic in 1950. On January 26, 1950, Republic Day became the second Indian national holiday.

Background to the freedom struggle

Before the 18th century, India's relationship with the West had been predominantly trade-related. All this changed when the forces of the East India Company defeated Siraj-ud-Daulah, the Nawab of Calcutta.

That signalled the arrival of the British as rulers. Till the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857, the East India Company, with the Governor General as its head, ruled the subcontinent. After that, the Crown took over the administration, with the Viceroy as its representative.

In the 20th century, the country witnessed the rise of many leaders such as Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Banded under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi and his doctrine of non-violence, the freedom struggle moved ahead with new vigour. Milestones like the Quit India Movement, Non-Cooperation Movement, Khilafat Movement and Gandhi's Dandi March brought the inevitable freedom closer.

61 Independence Day Of India

Independence Day

Independence DayIndependence Day, August 15, commemorates the day in 1947 when India achieved freedom from British rule. It is celebrated with flag hoisting ceremonies and cultural programs in the state capitals. The Prime Minister's speech at the Red Fort in Delhi is the major highlight.

All Government Organisations have a holiday as 15th August is a National holiday . In the capital New Delhi most of the Government Offices are lit up. In all the cities around the
Independence Day country the Flag Hoisting Ceremony is done by politicians belonging to that constituency. In various private organisations the Flag Hoisting Ceremony is carried out by a Senior officer of that organisation.

On Television, various Independence related programs are telecasted, reminding us of the hard times faced by the freedom fighters.
In almost all the schools and
Independence Daycolleges around the country, no academic work in done on this day, but all the students and staff members are present on this day and there is a sort of gathering of the entire school/college within their respective premises and the flag hoisting ceremony takes place,(usually in the presence of the principal)and singing of the National Anthem. After this there are various cultural activities held in the school / college and the celebration continues till late evening.

Rihanna has Sexiest Celebrity Stomach in the World

R and B singer Rihanna has topped a new poll of the 'Sexiest Celebrity Stomachs in the World'.

The 20-year-old Barbados-born beauty, renowned for her revealing stage outfits, came first in the poll conducted by stomach-flattening supplement AntiBloat, reports China Daily.

Second on the list was Keira Knightley, who is famous for wearing midriff-flashing costumes, and who has bared her taut abs in movies including 'Bend It Like Beckham' and 'King Arthur'.

Dame Helen Mirren, who recently wowed onlookers with her trim physique when she donned a bikini while on holiday in the Italian Riviera, came third in the poll.

Sienna Miller, who showed off her enviable toned figure in a skimpy bikini while on holiday recently, shared the fourth spot with Liz Hurley.

Rounding off the top five was Jemima Khan, an English socialite known due to her relationships as Hugh Grant's ex-girlfriend, the former wife of Pakistani cricketer Imran Khan, and a daughter of late billionaire James Goldsmith.

"The survey results reveal that a sexy stomach isn't governed by age, which is good news for all those wanting to tone up or maintain a flat tummy," AntiBloat spokesperson Jalal Janmohamed said.

Sexiest Celebrity Stomachs in the World:

1. Rihanna

2. Keira Knightley

3. Dame Helen Mirren

4. Sienna Miller and Liz Hurley

5. Jemima Khan (ANI)