By Raveena Hargun
What is Rakhri?
Rakhri or Raksha Bandhan is celebrated by the Sikhs and Hindu’s in August, but the date and day changes each year.
Rakhri is where the sisters and cousin sisters tie a plain, pattern or pearled string on their brothers or cousin brothers’ wrist which is traditionally red but could be obtained now different colours.
By doing this, the tradition implies that they will give you money or some brothers or cousin brothers will take their sisters or cousin sisters out or give them a gift.
The word Rakhri in the Punjabi language dates back to the 18th Century when the Sikh Khalsa’s army introduced the term Rakhri. The army promised the farmers of the land to protect them from the Mughal and Afghan armies, and in exchange of that protection, demanded a small share in their produce.
Originally, this was a bond between groups of people to protect each other’s well-being. The practice eventually turned into the bond between brothers and sisters which is now called Rakhri or Raksha Bandhan.
The actual ceremony in tying the brothers Rakhri
The best thing of tying Rakhi around the wrist of the brother is its simplicity and minimalistic appeal. The house is all shiny and bright.
Normally the sisters and cousin sisters will go to the brothers’ house and tie the Rakhri. They all wear colourful clothes and fine jewellery while the sister prepares thali with Rakhi, fresh sweets, candle then ties the Rakhri.
Nowadays some people will go to each brothers’ place or will all meet at one person’s house and all of the brothers and sisters will get together.
Sisters will take it in turns and tie the Rakhri around the wrist of the brothers (either left or right) and some of them would like to take pictures during the ceremony.
Afterwards the brothers and sisters exchange traditional Punjabi sweets like Khajuria; dodha barfi; besan ki barfi; peanut chikki; pinni but nowadays people will give sweets, chocolate – depends on what the brothers likes.
Finally, the brothers then give the sisters gifts like cash or something else and promise to protect them throughout their lives.