I’m sure what you’re wondering what Raksha Bandhan is if you’re not Indian or are familiar with it. Well let’s talk about pronunciation real quick before we move further: Ruck-sha Bun-Dhunn or the easier version of course is just calling it Rakhi! =)
I actually never got to do this as a kid since I didn’t have any brothers or any close cousins that were boys. But the tradition is absolutely sweet and I’m so glad I get to see it happen with my two babies.
What is it?
It’s a small celebration where sisters generally tie a sacred thread called a Rakhi around their brother’s wrist, and say a small prayer for their good health and long life. This thread, which represents love, basically means a “bond of protection”. The brother in return normally gives a gift to his sister, and vows to look after her for the rest of their lives. It’s the sweetest little tradition, and I was definitely excited to do it with Aria and Rish today.
Now, normally the sister doesn’t get a rakhi, but I knew Aria was going to have a massive meltdown if Rish got a “bracelet” and she didn’t which is why, instead of him getting her a gift this year, I had him tie a rakhi on her instead.
This can also be done with cousins, other relatives, and close friends. Whomever you see as a brother/sister, is a somebody that can you celebrate Rakhi with!
When is it?
Different dates each year, but most often in August, based on the lunar cycle.
Why do it?
Any celebration that brings the family together, is a good enough reason for me. Plus, I love the significance and importance of teaching these little ones about the value of taking care of one another. But in the broader perspective, it definitely delivers the message of universal brotherhood and sisterhood.
Do I think my little 3 year and 2 year old understood the significance of today? No. Did they call them “cool bracelets”? Yes. Did they keep them on for long? No. But, were they excited to give it to each other, and talk about how much they loved each other? YES. And that’s all that matters to me! And I will call that a success on this year’s Rakhi!