Although we were not a religious Hindu family, I grew up celebrating lots of Hindu cultural holidays and festivals. Now in our family we too carry on the tradition and celebrate a couple of the Indian holidays. My favorite is the sweet and simple holiday called Raksha Bandan. The main ceremony involves the sister tying a thread on her brother’s wrist. The thread, called a rakhi, is a symbol of the sister’s love and prayers for protection and safety for her brother. In return the brother offers a simple gift to his sister as a symbol of his promise to protect her all of her life. I love the sentiment of this holiday.
The date of Raksha Bandan is dependent on the Hindu lunisolar calendar and falls on a full moon generally in August. Yesterday was Raksha Bandan. (Happy Raksha Bandan to my wonderful brothers Akash and Sanjai- your rakhis should arrive tomorrow!)
Since Ishaan left for camp last Saturday, we celebrated last week. Although it wasn’t the “real” day I felt like it was so timely since Ishaan would be leaving that day for 2 weeks away from us. The kids all put on their Indian clothes and the girls tied rakhis on their brothers.
My cousin Namita came on Monday and she also brought rakhis for the boys- in India cousins are like brothers and even called cousin -brothers. When Ishaan returns from camp he will get one more.
There is a legend that if the rakhi stays on until Diwali it will turn to gold. Maybe that’s how we will finance college for all these brothers and sisters!