From a custom-designed envelope by DuPont to send rakhis from India, to a special rakhi bazaar in India and multi-cultural performances in New Zealand, this year’s Hindu festival of Raksha Bandhan promises to be vibrant.
This year, Raksha Bandhan is on 2 August but the preparations are well under way.
DuPont America has designed water-proof envelopes for rakhis that are available from India Post outlets throughout India.
Sisters can select from four designs of envelopes that are made to protect the rakhis – a symbol of love sisters tie on their brothers’ wrists in return for a promise of their protection.
Sisters can buy ‘rakhis’ and rest assured they will reach their brothers undamaged in the ‘Rakhi Enve’, says India Post. “Brothers vow to protect their sisters and we vow to protect their rakhis.”
India’s cultural diversity is also reflected in the variety of rakhis available in the market, as could be seen at a recent Rakhi Bazaar in Kanpur, India hundreds of rakhis displayed unique styles – from gold and silver plated Rakhi to fragrance Rakhi.
But the colourful action is not limited to India – overseas Indians are equally excited about expressing their love for their siblings. More than 1000 people are expected to gather at Raksha Bandan celebration in New Zealand’s Auckland city.
While Raksha Bandhan falls on 2 August, the Auckland celebrations will be on Saturday, 11 August at The Mahatma Gandhi Centre. Auckland Mayor Len Brown will inaugurate the event organized by the Hindu Organisations, Temples and Associations (HOTA) Forum.
“The Raksha Bandhan festival has the powerful yet simple message of Hindu philosophy – the world is one family (Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam),” says Srikant Bhave, coordinator of Raksha Bandhan 2012, and general secretary of Hindu Swayamsewak Sangh. Every year, one of the members in HOTA Forum gets an opportunity to host the programme on a rotation basis. This year’s host, Hindu Swayamsewak Sangh, will carry the “Ekta Shankh”, a carving made by the Maori-Hindu sculptor Tane Singh-Lagah.
The celebrations will feature a three-hour cultural programme, says Srikant.
“Raksha Bandhan celebrations by the HOTA forum have always provided an excellent opportunity for talented practitioners of classical, traditional and folk dances from all around the world to showcase their skills.”
In the previous years, traditional performers from New Zealand, China, Japan, Middle East, and India have performed.
“This year we have Maori and Samoan performing artists on board,” says Sundara Subbiah, cultural programme coordinator for the Raksha Bandhan festival.
The festival will be celebrated in a smoke-free, alcohol-free and meat free (strictly vegetarian) family atmosphere. Entry is free.
For details contact Neesha Mistry on 021 233 5395 or email reservations to: firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT RAKSHA BANDHAN
The Hindu festival of Raksha Bandhan, or Rakhi as it is popularly known in North India, is veneration of a relationship between a brother and his sister. While this festival falls usually in July every year, it is on 2 August this year, if you are wondering when Rakhi is in 2012.
Sisters symbolize their affection by teing a thread, called Rakhi, around the wrist of their brothers. Brothers, in turn, vow to look after the sisters. Gifts and sweets are exchanged on the rakhi day as is the tradition for most Indian festivals.
With global migration encouraging many Indians to migrate, millions of brothers are away from their sisters, and send rakhi gifts to sisters via international services that send gifts to India.
Many websites send rakhis to India, including sending auspicious rakhi thalis to India.