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Celebrating Raksha Bandhan

Last updated on: August 05, 2009 

Celebrating Rakshabandhan

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Raksha Bandhan, symbolising the eternal bond of love between brother and sister, was celebrated on Wednesday with traditional fervour with people visiting their siblings with gifts and sweets.

Dressed in their fineries, sisters daubed foreheads of their brothers with vermilion and tied colourful Rakhis on their wrists and prayed for their happiness. Youngsters also visited temples.

Image: A woman threads rakhi on the wrist of her brother
Photographs: Danish Ismail/Reuters
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As a part of the ritual, sisters fast in the morning until they tie the Rakhi on their brother's wrists. They prepare a 'thali' containing an earthen or metal lamp, rakhi, vermilion, saffron, rice grains, sweets and fruits.

"It is a festival which is so close to my heart. I woke up early in the morning and offered puja for my elder brother. Then I tied a Rakhi on his hand in turn he pledged to protect me from all adversities," says Riti, a student of Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi.

Many people have decided to celebrate the festival in the evening for according to priests it is the most auspicious time for tying rakhi.

Image: A woman applies vermilion on the forehead of her brother
Photographs: Danish Ismail/Reuters
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People in South India are celebrating the Avaniatam festival on Wednesday in which brahmins go to temples to perform puja and change their holy threads.

"We went to the nearby temple for the puja to change our poonal (sacred thread). The rituals went on for around two hours. A lot of delicacies are being prepared at home and I am waiting to feast upon them", said G. Arvind, an engineering student, who participated in the festival in New Delhi.

The Delhi Metro has decided to run 60 extra trips today to cater to the extra rush of people. The DMRC will also deploy additional personnel to cater to the extra rush of commuters.

Image: A woman looks at Rakhis at a market in Chandigarh
Photographs: Ajay Verma/Reuters
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The Delhi government has offered free travel for women in Delhi Transport Corporation buses as well low-floor buses on Wednesday to facilitate their journey to the houses of their brothers.

Security has been tightened on streets and crowded places like markets and popular hangouts like India Gate to avoid any untoward incident.

Markets have been flooded with a variety of rakhis ranging from colourful silken threads to those made of silver, gold and decorated with diamonds. For children, there is a vast variety of rakhis from Harry Potter and Superman images to large sponge rakhis.


Image: A visually-impaired schoolboys play with a rakhi tied onto the wrist of one of the boys inside their school in Hyderabad
Photographs: Krishnendu Halder/Reuters
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Meanwhile, President Pratibha Patil, Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh have greeted the nation on the occasion.

In her message, Patil said, this unique festival strengthens fraternal feelings and the spirit of oneness in Indian society. The festival plays an important role in spreading messages of harmony in society, said Vice-Presidenat Hamid Ansari in his message.

In his message, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the festival reinforces the sanctity of traditional familial ties and provides an opportunity for bridging differences.


Image: College students tie rakhi on the wrists of Indian Border Security Force (BSF) soldiers at the India-Pakistan check post at Wagah border
Photographs: Munish Sharma/Reuters
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