**Bhubaneswar:** Raksha Bandhan, or Rakhi Poornima is a festival celebrating the most beautiful relationship in an inseparable bond of love and trust. It symbolises the love and well wishes of a sister for the well-being of her brother and the life-long vow of a brother to protect his sister from all evils.
The ritual of Rakhi tying has become so important that come what may, brothers and sisters try to visit each other place, even cousins and distant family members on this particular day in order to bring back the oneness of the family, binding the family together in an emotional bond of love. To many, the festival transcends biological family, brings together men and women across religions, diverse ethnic groups and ritually emphasizes harmony and love.
It is celebrated on the full moon day of ‘Shravana’ month in Hindu calendar, which mostly falls in August every year.
Everyone start preparing for this festival much in advance. About a month before the commencement of raksha bandhan, you can see fancy and colorful rakhis in every market. Girls start shopping for rakhi and rakhi gifts quite early. They shop for new clothes and beautiful rakhi gifts specially the one that have to be sent to their brothers staying far. Almost every shop, be it sweet shops, garment shops, gift shops, or any other shop, all are flooded with attractive rakhi gifts to attract people.
“We get rakhis of different varieties from various parts of the country, mostly from Mumbai and Calcutta to lure the customers. We also give the girls in a discounted rate, so that they can shop as much as possible without any worry or hesitation,” said a Rakhi-stall owner of a busy Bhubaneswar market place.
“I look forward for this festival for the whole year and enjoy it to the fullest. As I am the single child of my parents, I tie rakhis to my cousins, neighbours, and love the colourful environment of this special day,” said Bijaylaxmi, a young girl of the smart city.
“I am very excited for this day. There are so many rakhis to choose from, and I even look forward for the gifts to be given to me by my brothers,” chirped Priyanka.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik greeted all the people of the State on the auspicious occasion saying, “Happy Rakhi greetings to every one!”
Odisha BJP Mahila Morcha president Pravati Parida on the occasion said, “The women wing of our party observed the day across the state, especially with the jawans on duty here in the state and far away from their homes, near and dear. We’d requested the retired defence personnel to tie the pious Rakhi here at the party headquarters and they all turned up”.
Rakhi festival is the celebration of the chaste bond of love amongst the siblings. This festival is not a ritual, custom and tradition that can change over time but its style of celebration has become contemporary. Since ages, Raksha Bandhan is being celebrated in the same way. All the traditions are followed with the same enthusiasm. The gaieties have only blown up to a larger scale.
The overflowing emotions of siblings cannot be stopped on this day. Nowadays, emotions are also expressed through e-mails, e-cards, rakhi greeting cards and e-rakhi through Internet by those who are not able to meet each other.