Raksha Bandhan: Evolution of a tradition

India is a diverse and a culturally rich country. Indian civilisation since years is known through its festivities and the rituals associated with them. Festivals talk about togetherness and give us a break from the monotony of our boring lives.  And one of the near in sight festival is Raksha Bandhan or Rakhi, as many call it. This festival in best signifies the pure bond of affection and care that a Brother – Sister Duo share. This festival is marked with tying the thread of love and care on brother’s wrist by sisters.

Raksha Bandhan was celebrated in a plain Jane way in the yesteryears and certainly had the devoid of the glitz and glamour that is shown today. In today’s time, everything from festivals to wedding to a normal pooja is planned under the purview of pomp and show. Everything seems to be influenced by the movies of Yash Raj. The festival of Raksha Bandhan does not remain untouched by this

Sisters initially started out with a mere thread and as traditions continued to advance , mere thread was turned to Zari and then Resham (silk). Floral rakhis too dominated the scenario for quite sometime. Then we saw Shree-Om Rakhi and Swastik Rakhi doing the rounds and now they rule the rooster. Also for children ,rakhi manufacturers have realised that the best way to sell them rakhis is through creating Cartoon Rakhis. If this according to you doesn’t adjusts well within the length and breadth of pomp and show, what would you say to Rakhis being made of real gold? Don’t believe us? Well, you’d have to. North Indian Women, who can afford such Rakhis, leave no stone unturned to make their Brothers feel special. Even if it means to tie Rakhi made of pure Gold and shelling out Rs 20,000 to 30,000.


With this not so humility filled Rakhi, brothers too don’t spare a penny when it comes to getting their sisters the best gift. What all sisters look forward is the shagun they’d be receiving from their brothers. And brothers make sure that their “ Shagun” is not something that reeks of monotony.

Shagun during the Pre-independent India was a mere Rs.11 or 21. As time flew incomes got advanced and the importance attached to Shagun got elevated. We saw an increase in the amount of Shaguns. Some began to supplement their shagun with Cadbury chocolate which till now is considered as the best gift. With the rich getting richer, a rage of personalized gifts dominated the Indian market. From personalized chocolates to personalized cushions, everything expresses the Brother-Sister love in the mushiest way.  With ethereally rich people being always away from the “popular culture”, they certainly have taken a break from the personalized gift scenario. Their gifts exhibit extravaganza. With opulent Fendi bags to limited edition luxury brand’s accessory range, they know what stands in coherence with their wealth.  Even when this seems to belittle their love for their sister, swanky cars and a Parisian vacations seems to dominate the Rakhi arena for the filthy rich.

With gifts taking a huge turn from the nominal Salwar Kameez , we also see that how sweets too have changed. Traditionally Desi Ghee sweets were preferred and were also considered delectable, but with an increased consciousness over calories, sisters prefer to get diet sweets or sugar free sweets. Even if this is not enough, many try and get access to exotic fruits too.

With evolution of Raksha Bandhan from Nirupa Roy to Deepika Padukone, it would be interesting to see what does the future has in store for us!!

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