Raksha Bandhan (or Rakhi) is a festival to celebrate the bond of love and happiness between brothers and sisters. Hindus across the globe celebrate it with a lot of fervour. On this day, siblings pray for each other’s long life and good health. While the sister ties a thread on her brother’s wrist and prays for him, the brother promises to protect her and even sends her a gift as a token of love.
Raksha Bandhan is known by different names and even celebrated differently across India and the world.
Regional and Mythical Names of Rakhi
The different names have their own mythical and regional reasons. Some of these are:
Gamha Purnima - the people of Odisha decorate and worship all their domesticated cows and bullocks. People enjoy feasts and distribute sweets among family and friends.
Avani Avittam / Upakarmam - the southern states of Kerala, Andhra pradesh and Odisha celebrate this day on the Rakhi purnima. Brahmins take a dip in the holy waters and change their old holy thread (also called janeyu or yajnopavit) and wear a new one promising never to remove it.
Nariyal Purnima - the western part of the country celebrates this day by offering a coconut to the sea, as a token of respect and to invoke the sea god’s blessings. This festival bears importance for the fishermen who start their new fishing season on this day.
Jhulan Purnima - is celebrated by the people of Bengal and also known as Poolan Purnima. On this day, beautiful idols of Lord Krishna and Radha on a swing are worshipped..
Kajari Purnima - Rakhi is celebrated as Kajari Purnima in the central part of the country. This day bears importance for farmers and ladies blessed with sons. It marks the beginning of the sowing season for the farmers. The women of the area apply cow dung to their house walls and floors and carry out daily rituals for seven days leading up to Shravan Purnima or Raksha Bandhan.
Pavitropana - Gujaratis are known for their firm belief in religion and devotion to Lord Shiva. They seek blessings and offer grand prayers to the supreme deity. They believe that worshipping him on this day washes away all their past sins.
Different names signify different ways to celebrate Rakhi but are all meant to spread the same message of love and brotherhood among people, keeping aside regional and religious disparities.