Wednesday 22 May 2024

Regional Diversity of Raksha Bandhan in India


Raksha Bandhan is celebrated with Shavani Purnima in India, but it is not the only festival on this day. You may have heard about various festivals that take place during the monsoon season.

Did you wonder why? Why are the monsoon, and the regional festivals that accompany it, so special in India?

The answer is quite simple. Agriculture continues to be the primary source of income for India, with over 60% of the population depending on it, which accounts for 18% of the country’s GDP. It is very obvious that rain is important here.

In India, during the monsoon season, a variety of regional festivals are celebrated, with a focus on farming, while only a few coincide with Raksha Bandhan.

This Raksha Bandhan with Shree Rakhi let’s go around the country and find out more about what regionally gets celebrated on the day of Raksha Bandhan or along with it. Let’s travel to each of our nation’s four corners to learn about the other holidays that coincide with the rakhi celebration starting with the north.

Northern India

In India, different Indian regions have different names for Raksha Bandhan. Raksha Bandhan are widely held in the northern portion of India, where rakhi tying is a traditional custom.

Jammu – On the day of Raksha Bandhan, Jammu celebrates a kite flying festival, where the sky is adorned with vibrant kites and the locals use a special thread called “Gattu Dor” to fly them.

Haryana – In Haryana, the festival of “Saluno” or “Silono”, also known as Rakhi, is celebrated by the locals. As part of the ritual, sisters place a barley shoot behind their brothers’ ears.

Uttarakhand – Together with Raksha Bandhan, the people of Kumaon celebrate Janopunyu. On this day, Bhramans replace their sacred thread, which is called “janeu” in the local language. The Bagwal fair is held on this day at Devidhura, Champawat district.

Rajasthan – In the Marwari and Rajasthani communities of the North-western region, the Lumba Rakhi is significant as it is tied by the sister to her sister-in-law, who is regarded as her brother’s better half. Other types of rakhis, such as Meenakari Rakhi, Zari Zardozi Rakhi, Resham Thread Rakhi, Antique-based Rakhi, and Gota Rakhi, are popularly produced by Rakhi manufacturers in Jaipur.

Punjab – Punjabi people are very fond of their traditions and food. They also like to adorn themselves with jewelry and look for rakhis that have jewels on them. The most popular rakhis in this region are those with pearls, stonework, diamonds, bracelets, and other types of jewelry.

Central India

Let’s move to the central part of the country with states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. All of these states have kind of the same traditions which is why let’s go through them together.

The Sharvani Purnima is also known as Kajari Purnima. Farmers celebrate this day by worshiping the land and mothers perform special poojas with their sons. The main ritual starts with the end of Kajiri Amavasya (No Moon) on the ninth day of Purnima (Full Moon).

On the day of Shravan Shukla Navami, the wives of the farmers go to their fields and collect soil in a leaf cup and place it in a dark room away from sunlight and air. After that, the soil is planted with barley seeds and left for 7 days.

On the evening of Kajari Purnima, a final ritual is performed. The wives then transport these leaf cups to a nearby pond or river and immerse them in the water while praying for their boys’ long lives.

The celebration also marked the start of seeding barley and wheat, which is extremely important for farmers, who pray to the goddess for a successful crop.

Western India

Gujarat – In the Western region of India, states like Gujarat celebrate Raksha Bandhan as Pavitropana. Along with the festival, people also visit Lord Shiva’s temples to seek blessings, which are believed to wash away all sins.

Gujarati people like vibrant colors and the rakhi manufacturers in this region make many rakhis with pom-poms and other types of decorations. Popular rakhis in this region include Color Crystal flower rakhis, Stone rakhis, and designer Gota rakhis.

Eastern India

West Bengal – In West Bengal, during the month of Raksha Bandhan, a five-day festival is held. It is also known as Jhulan Purnima is the name given to this event in Bengal, which begins on the day of Pavitra Ekadashi.

They worship Lord Krishna and Radha by placing their idols on jhulas or swings decked with lovely flowers.

Odisha – In Odisha, people celebrate a festival called Gamha Purnima, which is known as the birthday of Lord Balabhadra, who is also considered the deity for farmers, during which they worship their buffaloes and cows.

Southern India

Maharashtra – The Koli community in Maharashtra celebrates Rakhi along with Narali Purnima, a festival during which they offer coconuts to the sea to honor Lord Varuna and mark the start of the fishing season.

Tamil Nadu – Raksha Bandhan is not widely observed in the southern portions of India; on the day of Rakhi Purnima, celebrations such as Avani Avittham are widely observed in Tamil Nadu.

Kerala – States like Kerala prefer simpler kinds of rakhi. Sandalwood rakhis, Mauli rakhis, and traditional thread rakhis are more popular in this region than fancy stone rakhis.

Raksha Bandhan is a festival celebrated with great zeal and fervor throughout India. Each region celebrates this holiday in its own way, with its own rituals, customs, and traditional practices.

From kite flying in Jammu to buffalo and cow worship in Odisha, from changing the sacred thread in the Kumaon area to gifting coconuts to the sea in Maharashtra, each regional Raksha Bandhan festival reflects India’s rich cultural and traditional heritage.

Raksha Bandhan brings people closer to their siblings, and various regional celebrations add to the beauty of this bond between brothers and sisters.