Raksha Bandhan History, Traditions And Desserts
Raksha Bandhan is celebrated with great pomp and enthusiasm all over India. It falls in the Shravana month of the Hindu calendar and depicts the love, care and duty of brothers-sisters towards each other. The festival is a grand celebration of the unique bond that brothers and sisters share.
Raksha Bandhan is a national festival and though the thought behind it remains the same, the traditions and rituals differ across states. Depending on the state, the festivities and traditions pertaining to this festival change. But before we have a look at how is Raksha Bandhan celebrated in India, let us have a look at some exciting facts about Raksha Bandhan history.
The history of Raksha Bandhan or Rakhi Purnima in India can be traced back 6000 years ago when Aryans first established civilisation. There are many stories in Indian mythology about this festival and each is equally interesting. Below mentioned are some of the mythological stories that will further solidify the understanding and history of Raksha Bandhan.
Lord Krishna And Draupadi’s Story Behind Raksha Bandhan
Lord Krishna killed the evil King Shishupal to protect the Dharma on Earth and left the war with a bleeding finger. Draupadi tore a strip of cloth from her saree and tied it around his wrist to stop the bleeding. Lord Krishna, realizing her affections and concern about him, declared himself bound by her sisterly love and promised her to repay this debt in the future. After many years, when the Pandavas lost Draupadi in the game of dice against Kauravas, Krishna helped her divinely by elongating her saree during the Cheer Haran.
King Bali and Goddess Lakshmi’s Story Behind Raksha Bandhan
Lord Vishnu had undertaken the task of protecting King Bali, leaving his abode Vaikuntha, as a blessing for his immense love and devotion. Goddess Lakshmi, to bring back her husband, tied a sacred thread on King Bali’s wrist on Shravan Purnima in disguise. Goddess Lakshmi in return as a gift requested King Bali to release Lord Vishnu from his duties as his protector.
Lord Vishnu and Goddess Parvati’s Story Behind Raksha Bandhan
According to Puranas, Parvati is the voluntary kin of Lord Vishnu. Owing to the Rakhi tied by Goddess Parvati, Lord Vishnu helped her in winning Mahadev’s heart after he rejected her marriage proposal. After helping Goddess Parvati in her “Tapasya”, Lord Vishnu also performed all the rituals of the Shiva-Parvati wedding as a doting brother.
How Is Raksha Bandhan Celebrated In India
Now that we have glanced at the history of Raksha Bandhan, let us have a look at how is Raksha Bandhan celebrated in India-
How Raksha Bandhan Is Celebrated In Coastal Regions Of India
The communities living in the coastal regions of India, particularly the fisher society, celebrate Raksha Bandhan or Rakhi Purnima with great joy. It is referred to as Narali Purnima in these regions of India. For people highly dependent on the ocean for their livelihood, Narali Purnima is that time of the year when Monsoons begin withdrawing and the thunderous oceans calm down. This marks the start of the new fishing season and the fishermen offer coconuts to the ocean as a thanksgiving to Lord Varuna, The Vedic God of Oceans. Some of the Raksha Bandhan traditional food enjoyed in the regions during Narali Purnima are:-
Coconut Rice Recipe
Coconut Rice is a Raksha Bandhan traditional food that is flavourful and aromatic. Easy to cook, it can be served with curd or kadhi. Follow the Coconut Rice recipe given below-
Oil - 2 tbsp
Peanut - ½ tbsp
Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
Chana Dal - ½ tbsp, soaked
Urad Dal - ½ tbsp, soaked
Curry Leaves - 10
Red Chilli - 1
Green Chilli - ½
Cashew Nut - 12
Salt - ½ tsp
Coconut - 1 cup + 2 tbsp, grated
Basmati Rice - 2 cups, cooked
- To make this Coconut Rice recipe, Heat oil in a pan and add peanuts, mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Saute them for a few minutes.
- Once done, add the soaked chana and urad dal and saute all the ingredients for a few minutes.
- Now add curry leaves, red whole chilli and green chilli. Saute them well.
- Add cashew nuts followed by salt to the pan and mix thoroughly.
- Next, add 1 cup grated coconut and fold it through the other ingredients we...
- Add the cooked rice to the pan and mix well.
- Raksha Bandhan traditional food, Coconut Rice is now ready! Serve hot.
Coconut Ladoo Recipe
Coconut Ladoo is one of the most popular Raksha Bandhan sweets recipes. It is an all-time favourite and enjoyed by all. Follow the Coconut Ladoo recipe given below to make it this festive season-
Coconut - 1½ cup, grated
Ghee / Clarified Butter - 1 tsp
Cardamom Powder - ½ tsp
Condensed Milk - ¾ cup
Coconut Cup - ⅓ cup, desiccated
- To make this Coconut Ladoo recipe, firstly, heat ghee in a frying pan on low flame.
- Once heated, add the grated coconut. Stir it on low flame for 3 to 4 minutes to get rid of the moisture.
- Now, add condensed milk and cardamom powder to the pan. Cook well on low flame.
- Stir constantly as the mixture begins to thicken.
- When the mixture begins to leave the side of the pan or you can see some coconut fat on the side, switch off the flame.
- Allow the coconut mixture to cool down.
- Once done, form this mixture into ladoos and roll them in the desiccated coconut.
- One of the best Raksha Bandhan sweets recipes, Coconut Ladoo is now ready!
How Raksha Bandhan Is Celebrated In West Bengal
In West Bengal, Raksha Bandhan is known as Jhulan Purnima. Jhulan Purnima marks the beginning of the romance between Krishna and Radha. It is a week-long celebration with a breathtaking display of decorated swings along with dancing and singing. Some of the Raksha Bandhan traditional food enjoyed in the region are:-
Sandesh is one of the most tasteful and delicious Bengali Raksha Bandhan sweets recipes. Misti Sandesh is creamy and soft, making it a crowd-pleasing dessert. Follow the Sandesh recipe given below-
Paneer - 200 gms
Green Cardamom - 5, lightly crushed
Sugar - ½ cup, powdered sugar
Milk - 2 tbsp
Khoya - 1 cup, grated
Saffron Strands - 7
Ghee / Clarified Butter - 1 tbsp
Almonds - 6, shredded
- To make this Sandesh recipe, firstly, take a large bowl and add crumbled paneer and powdered sugar to it. Mix the two ingredients nicely.
- Now, take 2 tbsp of warm milk and add in saffron strands, mix it nicely and add it to the Sandesh mixture.
- Next, heat 1 tbsp ghee in a pan over medium flame. Once heated, fold the khoya in it, then add in the chenna and saffron mixture, keep stirring. Then add in cardamom and turn off the flame. Mash the mixture nicely and leave it to cool down.
- Once the Sandesh mixture attains room temperature, make small balls and give them desired shapes. Garnish with almonds.
- One of the best Raksha Bandhan sweets recipes, Sandesh, is now ready!
How Raksha Bandhan Is Celebrated In Odisha
Raksha Bandhan is called Gamha Purnima in Odisha. On the occasion of Gamha Purnima, all the domesticated cows and bullocks are decorated and worshipped. Various sweets are prepared and shared with friends, family and relatives. Gamha Purnima is also celebrated as Lord Baladeva’s birthday. Some of the Raksha Bandhan traditional food enjoyed in the region during Gamha Purnima are:-
Pitha is one of the most delicious Raksha Bandhan sweets recipes. An Indian version of pancakes or crepe, it is a staple diet in Odisha and is specially made during Gamha Purnima. Follow the Pitha recipe given below-
Flour - 2 cups
Milk - 1 litre
Green Cardamom - 1 tsp
Refined Oil - As required
Semolina or Sooji - 2 cups
Khoya / Mawa - 1½ cup
Sugar - ½ cup, granulated
Water - As required
- To make this Pitha recipe, firstly, on a low flame, heat milk in a deep non-stick pan. Stir continuously till it reduces to a semi-grainy consistency. Add khoya, cardamom powder and ¼ cup sugar, mix well and set aside.
- In a bowl, mix flour, semolina and remaining sugar with 2½ cups of water. Mix till the sugar dissolves.
- Heat some oil on a non-stick pan. Pour a cup of batter in it and spread into a medium-sized pancake. Let the underside cook.
- Put a spoonful of khoya mixture in the centre, roll and cook, till all the sides turn golden brown.
- One of the best Raksha Bandhan sweets recipes, Pitha, is now ready! Garnish with green cardamom and serve hot!
How Raksha Bandhan Is Celebrated In Central Region Of India
The central region of India includes the state of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and some parts of Uttar Pradesh. Raksha Bandhan in these parts is known as Kajari Purnima. Kajari Purnima holds significance for farmers in the region as the planting season of wheat and grains begin during this time. As per tradition, women who have borne children can participate in the rituals of Kajari Purnima. They gather soil in a cup made of leaves and place it in a dark room to worship it for 7 days before being immersed in a lake or a waterway. People pray for a good harvest and health to Goddess Bhagwati on Kajari Purnima. Some of the Raksha Bandhan traditional food dishes enjoyed in the region during Kajari Purnima are:-
Sweet chashni and dry fruit garnishings make Malpua a must-have during Kajari Purnima. Follow the Malpua recipe given below to try it at home-
All-Purpose Flour - 1 cup
Khoya - 2 tbsp
Green Cardamom - 1 tsp, powdered
Pistachios - 2 tbsp, chopped
Saffron - As required
Semolina - 1 tbsp
Water - As required
Refined Oil - ½ cup
Rabri - 10gm, ready-made
Sugar Syrup - 1½ cup
- To make this Malpua recipe, take a bowl and mix together khoya, maida and sooji or semolina.
- Next, add cardamom powder and mix well once again. Gradually add water to prepare the Malpua batter. Ensure that the mixture has a pourable consistency and is not too thick. Once the batter is ready, keep it aside for a few minutes.
- Now, take a small bowl and soak saffron in water to make saffron water.
- Heat oil in a pan over a low flame. When the oil is heated, pour a ladleful of the mixture and spread evenly. Keep the flame low and cook until the Malpua is golden from both sides.
- Remove the cooked Malpua and drain the excess oil. Drop the Malpua in sugar syrup and allow it to soak for 10 minutes. Repeat the same with the remaining batter.
- Drain the Malpuas from the syrup, garnish with pistachios, saffron water and Rabri.
- One of the best Raksha Bandhan sweets recipes is now ready!