In accordance with tradition, it is the moral duty of a brother to protect his sister from harm. The festival of Raksha Bandhan (the bond of protection) espouses the values that a brother upholds for his sister. The extended meaning of the festival is that it is the obligation of the strong to protect the vulnerable and the weak.
In a wider ambit, cousins and even family friends take part on this occasion. Therefore, the occasion is not confined strictly between brothers and sisters alone, but includes friends and individuals with brotherly feelings as well.
As the main theme of the festival, the sister ties a Rakhi on the wrist of her brother or sends the same day Rakhi. In return, the brother showers his sisters with gifts and takes a vow to care for her and protect her from adverse circumstances. This is very much a family event, and all members of the family oversee this process. After this, family members usually partake in a family feast where traditional recipes are prepared with fervour and much gaiety.
In the olden days, a Rakhi was just a simple thread that was tied over the right hand of the individual. With increasing popularity and acceptance of the festival, this is now more than just a simple thread. Today, colourful threads are used along with sequins, beads, semi precious stones, silver, gold, pearl, zari, and other fabulous materials. Nevertheless, threads are the most popular variety available in the markets today. They are made from many varieties of colourful threads and are decorated with tiny ghungroos, beads, and colourful stones.
Zari and Zardosi Rakhis:
Zari Rakhis are made from colorful zari threads and beautifully decorated with bead-work, stonework, satin strands, and are also decorated with many other fancy materials like zari, sequins, shiny flecks, and glitter. Zardosi Rakhis are also extremely popular due to their exquisite and intricate metal wire work. This unique product is a superb combination of fabric and metal wire. The art work delicately combines sequins, stones, beads, fabric, and ‘resham’ thread with fine metal wire to produce absolutely stunning results.
Children have special affection for each other and this is amply demonstrated on this occasion when little girls come along with their parents to purchase Rakhis for their brothers. Such products have to be specially eye-catching and gorgeous to make children feel special.
Hence, these are made from light and fluffy material and include a lot of innovative and novel motifs, cartoon characters, and designs. Children get really excited and feel extremely delighted seeing these on display. Rakhi makers have come up with popular cartoon and comic strip characters like Superman, Spiderman, Mickey Mouse, Little Hanuman, Harry Potter, Shrek, and others.
Floral Rakhis utilise various floral designs to impart an elegant and pretty look. Sometimes, a little fragrance is also added to the finished product for added appeal. Elements like beads, sequins and semi precious stones make these even more beautiful.
Bhaiya Bhabhi Rakhis:
In some parts of the country, the tradition is to tie a Rakhi to the brother as well as his wife (one’s bhabhi). In most cases, sisters share a very emotional bond with their brother’s wives and this occasion venerates this special feeling. Thus Raksha Bandhan not only reveres the bond between a brother and a sister but also strengthens familial relationships. Bhaiya-bhabhi Rakhis usually come in beautiful pairs and they usually complement each other in design and colour.
There are many other exclusive Rakhis that you can check out and take your pick from. Both traditional and contemporary Rakhis will be a great pick for the occasion as long as you are sure of your brother’s preferences!