Raksha Bandhan is a popular festival celebrated across the country. Irrespective of caste and creed people from all walks of life participate in this festival. It is celebrated on the full moon day of the lunar month Shravana (Shravana Poornima) which also coincides with Upa-karma (changing the sacred thread for the brahmins, Avani Avittom in South India).
Raksha Bandhan is a festival of rakhi. This festival is dedicated to the bonds between brothers and sisters. On this occasion, the sacred relation between sisters and brothers is celebrated.
The festival is also called as Rakhi Poornima, Nariyal Poornima and Kajari Poornima in different states and is celebrated differently.
Once the rakhi has been tied, the sister says a prayer for the well being of her brother – good health, prosperity and happiness. This ritual sometimes involves an aarti, where a tray with lighted lamp or candle is ritually rotated around the brother’s face, along with the prayer and well wishes.
As well as having a significance in human life (i.e. in the fact that brothers and sisters are very important to us), we celebrate the Rakhi festival for mythological and religious reasons as well. Raksha Bandhan can be traced back to several Hindu myths that celebrate the power of sibling bonds. In one myth that is foundational for Raksha Bandhan, for example, Lakshmi uses a sibling bond she has created with Bali to save Lord Vishnu from being trapped. The legend says that Lakshmi tied a Rakhi around the wrist of the evil King Bali and made him a brother so that he allow her husband, Lord Vishnu, to leave his palace. He granted her wish.
For Jains, Raksha Bandhan has an additional significance, as during this festival devotees celebrate their bonds with their priest by receiving woven bracelets or other types of band from the priest.
World Bigest mela start in ujjain (Madhya Pradesh).
Gangaur is a festival celebrated in the Indian state of Rajsthan and some parts of Gujrat , West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh .
Gangaur is colourful and one of the most important festivals of people of Rajsthan and is observed throughout the state with great fervour and devotion by womenfolk who worship Gauri , the consort of Lord shiv during March–April. It is the celebration of spring, harvest and marital fidelity. Gan is a synonym for Lord Shiv and Gaur which stands for Gauri or Parvati who symbolizes Saubhagya (marital bliss). The unmarried women worship her for being blessed with a good husband, while married women do so for the welfare, health and long life of their husbands and for a happy married life. People from Rajasthan when migrated to Kolkata in West Bengal started celebrating Gangaur.
Rites and Rituals
The festival commences on the first day of chaittra , the day following Holi and continues for 16 days. For a newly-wedded girl, it is binding to observe the full course of 18 days of the festival that succeeds her marriage. Even unmarried girls fast for the full period of the 18 days and eat only one meal a day. Festivity consummates on 3rd day of Shukla Paksha of Chaitra Month.Fairs (Gangaur Melas) are held throughout the 18 day period. Numerous folklores are associated with Gangaur which makes this festival deeply ingrained into the hearts of Rajasthan, and parts of Madhya Pradesh, Haryana & Gujarat.
The festival reaches its climax during the last three days. The images of Gauri and Isar are dressed in new garments especially made for the occasion. Unmarried girls and married women decorate the images and make them look like living figures.
At an auspicious hour in the afternoon, a procession is taken out to a garden, bawdi or johad or well with the images of Isar and Gauri, placed on the heads of married women. Songs are sung about the departure of Gauri to her husband’s house. The procession comes back after offering water to the first two days. On the final day, she faces in the same direction as Isar and the procession concludes in the consignment of the all images in the waters of a tank or a well. The women bid farewell to Gauri and turn their eyes and the Gangaur festival comes to an end.