Families across India will be celebrating Raksha Bandhan on 22nd August.
What is Raksha Bandhan? It is an Indian celebration to celebrate the bond between a brother and a sister. The sister ties her brother a “rakhi” to thank him for protecting her and the brother gives his sister gifts. Though this celebration conforms to age old gender roles – with the changing times – this tradition has changed too. My sister and I – celebrate it and thank each other for being there. Even new TV advertisements have brothers tying rakhis to sisters.
Origins of Raksha Bandhan – There are many legends attached to the origins of this festival . One of them is – when Yamuna (an Indian river) tied a Rakhi to Yama, the lord of death, he granted her immortality. He was so moved by the gesture, he is said to have declared that any brother who is tied a Rakhi to and offers to protect his sister would also become immortal.
The most sad Raksha Bandhan historical story – [trigger warning – suicide] In the medieval history of Rajasthan, the kingdoms were often under attack from foreign rulers. If the Indian king lost, his wife and other women would perform Jauhar – which was a ceremony in which they would jump into a pyre of fire. They would do this to avoid becoming the concubines of the winning king and his army. Rani Karnavati was the queen of one such kingdom and upon hearing of her husband’s death in the battlefield sent a rakhi to the famous Mughal king Humayun – making him her brother and asking for help. Though Humayun was busy in another battle, he rushed to help the queen but was too late and she killed herself before he could arrive.
My Raksha Bandhan fun stories – I was a greedy pig in both my colleges. My parents would give me adequate pocket money but I would love getting people to buy me stuff. So in both the colleges, I randomly tied rakhis to friends who were boys to get them to buy me chocolates. 😀
Eco – Raksha Bandhan – Starting last year, my sister and I, started buying environment friendly Rakhis to make the day even more special. I got my brothers seed rakhis and my sister got them rakhis made from recycled material. Given our goal to be more sustainable, with my own brand Moksha, we launched two types of seed Rakhis.
What is Seed Rakhi? – Seed rakhi is made using compostable materials and can be planted after Raksha Bandhan to get a beautiful plant.
Moksha’s Rakhi Offerings –
The Seed Rakhi Box – This box comes with a hand made rakhi made with seed paper as well as a coconut coir planter, organic fertilizer and roli-chawal.
Seed Rakhi made from Scrap – This rakhi is made from cork and other scrap and is filled with seeds, so you can plant it after to reduce waste.
Going forward we hope to celebrate all our celebrations in a more environment friendly way. Here’s hoping you will join us on this journey.
Have a very happy Raksha Bandhan! 🙂
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