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Welcome to the David Victor Vector blog. This is blog that covers religious observances around the world international affairs and global business. This blog describes religious holidays for most major religions as well as raising issues dealing with globalization, international business ethics, cross-cultural business communication and political events affecting business in an integrated world economy. I look forward your discussion and commentary on these articles and subjects. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Raksha Bandhan

Raksha Bandhan (or simply Rakhi) is a holiday celebrating the love between brother and sister in the Hindu, Jain and some Sikh traditions.  In 2017, the holiday falls on Monday, August 7.

Dating Raksha Bandhan

The holiday falls on the full moon of Shraavana, the fifth month of the Hindu calendar. Since the Hindu  and Gregorian (secular) calendars do not align, Raksha Bandhan seems to move around in the secular calendar. For instance, this year, 2017, the holiday falls on Monday, August 7. In 2015, it fell on Saturday, August 29; in 2014, the holiday fell on Sunday, August 10; in 2013 on August 21 and so on.

Raksha Bandhan Traditions

Raksha Bandan celebrates the special bonds between brothers and sisters.

Rakhi wristbands
On the morning of Raksha Bandhan, sisters tie a special string or band around the wrist of their brothers. The band is call a "rakhi" and may vary from a plain but brightly-colored string to an elaborately decorated wristband (or even a piece of jewelry for some people).  It is customary for both brother and sister to dress up in fine clothing for the ceremony and for the string to be tied while the rest of the family (parents, grandparents and so forth) watch the ceremony.

When the sister ties the band around, she says a prayer for the health and well-being of her brother. The sister performs aarthi, in which she ritually moves a lighted diya (stone or metal lamp) around her brother's face. After this, the sister place a tikka or tilaka (a mark of brightly colored powder or paste) on her brother's forehead.

After the sister finishes, the brother pledges to protect, honor and love his sister. In most traditions, the brother and sister then hug.  In most traditions, the sister then hand feeds her brother special sweets.

Mal puas 
Some of the most common sweets given include vermicelli kheer (dried pasta with cardamom, saffron, mal pua (a fried, sugary dumpling soaked in syrup).  Recipes for all of these can be found at the Society for the Confluence of Festivals of India's "Rakhi Recipes" website at: http://www.raksha-bandhan.com/rakhi-recipes.html
nuts and dried fruits), banana "cutlets,"and

In some traditions, the brother then feeds his sister sweets; in other traditions, the brother gives his sister some sort of gift such as clothing or something particular to her.
Nepalese kwati

In Nepal, instead of sweets, sisters feed their brothers kwati, a special soup for the holiday. Kwati is
made of the sprouts of nine plants: chickpea, soybean, field pea, garden pea, cowpea, field bean, rice bean, green lentil and black lentil

It is customary for the brother to wear the tikka mark and the rakhi wristband for the entire day to school or work.

Happy Raksha Bandhan!

Want to Learn More?

"Rakhi: The Thread of Love,"Hinduism: About.com: http://hinduism.about.com/od/rakhi/a/rakshabandhan.htm

"Raksha Bandhan," Society for the Confluence of Festivals in India: http://www.raksha-bandhan.com/rakhi-traditions-and-customs.html

"Raksha Bandhan…" Iam33now/Slices of my life: https://iam30now.wordpress.com/2013/08/21/raksha-bandhan/

"Rakshabandhan," Know India (India.gov): http://www.archive.india.gov.in/knowindia/culture_heritage.php?id=74

"What is Raksha Bandhan (Rakhi)?" BBC: Religion: http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/hinduism/holydays/raksha.shtml

Illustration Sources

Rakhi wristbands: https://iam30now.wordpress.com/2013/08/21/raksha-bandhan/

Mal puas http://www.raksha-bandhan.com/rakhi-recipes.html

Nepalese kwati: Karrattul, Wikipedia Commons: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kwati_%28soup%29#/media/File:Buba_kwati.jpg 

Happy Raksha Bandhan, techyhunt.com: