Indian Culture & Art in USA, a RedPatang.com Blog

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Raksha Bandhan

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The festival of Raksha Bandhan is meant to symbolize the strong bond between brother and sister.  Raksha literally means protection and  Bandhan …bond.  The sister ties a Rakhi on the brother’s wrist with a prayer for his health and prosperity and in return he showers her with gifts or money.

The origins of this tradition are not very clear but some popular tales say that when Lord Indra was at war with some demons, his wife tied a thread of protection on his wrist to keep him from harm and Indra went on to defeat the demons.  Another legend indicates that when the Queen of Mewar was threatened by Bahadur Shah, she sent a sacred thread to Emperor Humayun and he came to her protection.

So when is Rakhi?  It usually falls on the full moon day in the month of Shravan (July-August) and in 2011 it will fall on August 13th.  And since nothing says love more than “Handmade”, here are two Rakhi’s that you can make or turn into an art and craft project with the kids.  I’ve tried to use everyday materials to make this easy

You will need:

Ribbon (half inch to one inch thick).  The Ribbon can be plain or decorative.  Length of the ribbon should be enough to wrap around the wrist of the wearer with enough allowance to tie it. Trim the two cut edges into a V to give it a finished look

Ribbon with V trim

 Design one – Beaded Rakhi:

You will need small beads. Simply glue or sew the beads onto the ribbon selected.

Beadwork Rakhi

Design two – Traditional Rakhi:

Click here for a free template. Print this template and cut out the Rakhi shape of your choice.  Paste this on cardstock and decorate in anyway you want before attaching it to the ribbon.  Here are some ideas: You can

  • cut and paste your childs abstract artwork on this shape
  • cover it with fabric before attaching it to the ribbon
  • draw the outline of “Om” or “Ganesha” or
  • even get creative with glitter glue.
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Written by Redpatang

July 28, 2011 at 1:29 pm

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