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Monday, August 03, 2009

Rakhi:  Binding Sister and Brother

At Hinduism’s festival of siblings, every brother deserves flowers at the wrist.


Sacred Rakhi bracelet, with fern and tuberose, handmade in Kolkata, India

Photo: Sandy Ao

Many thanks to Sandy Ao for touching, with beauty and ritual, a topic still beyond the reach of our ten-foot pole. Brothers and Sisters.

Full moon of the Hindu month of Shravan is the festival of Rakhi in India: August 5, this year. “Hindus over the world celebrate this day with deep love between brothers and sisters,” Sandy writes.

While this day occasions many sorts of gifts and blessings, the most traditional – and loveliest, we think—is the tying of a sacred Rakhi string. Customarily, a sister attaches the bracelet around her brother’s right wrist and prays for his safety and long life.

“Rakhis are ideally made of silk with gold and silver threads, beautifully crafted embroidered sequins, and studded with semi precious stones,” says one source. From her walks about Kolkata, Sandy discloses a far finer “ideal.”


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Posted by Julie on 08/03 at 06:42 PM
Culture & SocietyReligious RitualsPermalink
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