Rakhadumni in HimachalRakhadumni, also popularly known as ‘Rakhi’, ‘Kajri Purnima’, and ‘Raksha Bandhan’, is a festival deeply rooted in Indian and Himachali heritage. Rakhadumni, literally “protective bond”, celebrates the unalloyed and impregnable relationship between brothers and sisters that has lasted since time immemorial. This affectionate bond is consummated in Himachal Pradesh during Rakhadumni, celebrated during August overlapping with the Hindu month of Bhadrapad, on a full-moon day.

Rakhadumni Celebrations

The festival is celebrated primarily by sisters tying colorful threads called ‘Rakhis’ on the wrists of their brothers. These Rakhis are of different hues, shapes, and sizes and are often made of silk, gems, and other fine materials. They can be bought from every nook and corner but are sometimes adoringly made by the sisters themselves. Needless to add, the Rakhis are accompanied by the sisters’ love and blessings for their brothers’ good fortune and success in life.
Rakhadumni Celebrations
In return, the brothers pledge to perpetuate the eternal bond and to forever protect their sisters from harm. Himachali girls and women who do not have blood brothers observe the Rakhadumni festival with respected male acquaintances, often older gentlemen or local priests. The brothers and sisters then exchange sweets, gifts, and ceremonial platters further adding to the bonhomie and festive air. Owing to the propitious Bhadrapad season, crops such as barley, rice, and wheat are also sown by farmers as a rite.

Rakhadumni Traditions

The Rakhis traditionally persist on the brothers’ wrists for an entire month until the onset of the Sairi festival (named after and dedicated to a regional female deity). During the Sairi ceremonies, the Rakhis are offered to the deity along with prayers and libation.

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