Bhrarat’s legendary festivals are rooted deep in its meaningful culture and traditions. And Raksha Bandhan truly stands as a true testimony to celebrate the family love and affection between brothers and sisters.
- Dr. R. C. Nagpal
Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are celebrated throughout the world. Apart from this a number of other days are also celebrated on international level as they have great emotional value for the people. For example, Global Family Day, International Women’s Day, International Day for the Elderly, International Children’s Day, International Girl Child’s Day, International Friendship Day, Valentine Day (Marriage Day), International Youth Day and so on. But it is disheartening to note that on international calendar Sister’s Day and Brother’ Day have no place. No one can dispute the fact that sisters and brothers have natural affection for each other. Therefore, it is almost impossible to understand when the people of the world have celebrate so many days on the basis of love and affection, but no attention is paid to the loving bond between brothers and sisters – the children of the same parents.
The Hindu culture has given due respect to this relationship. Hindus celebrate every year Raksha-Bandhan and Bhaiya-Dooj festivals with great joy and merriment.
On Rakhshabandhan Day sister ties a Rakhi around the wrist of her brother and offers him sweets. The brother too presents suitable gifts while promising to protect her. It is by virtue of this promise of protection, the festival is called Raksha (Protection) Bandhan (tie) i.e. tie for protection. On the latter occasion a brother visits his sister. She applies a tilak on his forehead, garlands him wishing him longevity and prosperity. She feeds him with his relished tasteful dishes cooked by herself. Brother presents gifts to her.
It is indeed a unique feature of family relations in the Hindu society. It is such a precious and indispensable festival for sisters and brothers that where a sister has no real brother or a brother has no real sister, they celebrate the occasion with the cousin brother or sister with full fervour.
These Hindu festivals are woven with myths. But the essence of these festivals is the deep affection between brother and sister. Such affection in fact does not among other relations.
In all the societies of the world there are brothers and sisters in all families. Mostly they are real. Where no real brothers and sisters there too cousin brothers and sisters do exist. They have emotional bond for each other. If there is a research as vast as it can be made asking brothers and sisters whether they would like Sister’s Day and Brother’s Day I am sure that they would respond “ Yes ” without exception. Even the married persons would make positive response gleefully. They also have their own brothers or sisters. They have brother and sister children. If they are informed that Hindus have these days since ages immemorial they may question the wisdom of their societies, why they did not have these days.
It is now quite proper that the international community has Sister’s Day and Brother’s Day. It would be again proper to celebrate them on the days of Raksha-Bandhan and Bhaiya-Dooj in accordance with the Hindu Panchang (calendar) and not the Gregorian ( English ) calendar. There is a sound reason for this suggestion. It is truly not self love. The Hindu Panchang and the Gregorian calendar do not tally with each other. If dates of these days are fixed on the Gregorian calendar, they may not be the same on which these festivals are settled by the Panchang for ages and ages. They fall on different dates of the Gregorian calendar every year. For example, last year in 1918 Raksha-Bandhan fell on 1st of August but this year in 1919 it falls on 15th of August. These dates have even pre-historic origin. They cannot be changed for the dates which may be decided to be fixed in the Gregorian calendar.
However, it is quite practicable to note on this calendar the dates for these days are in harmony with the Panchang. It is very very easy too. Pundits of Panchang have been telling the dates of these days for a number of years.
(The author is a Professor of Law at Luncknow University and an Ex-Member of the UP Higher Education Council)