Brothers, sisters celebrate the bond of love on 'Raksha Bandhan' day

Brothers, sisters celebrate the bond of love on 'Raksha Bandhan' day

Rakhi brings traditional fervour in the national capital

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 in various areas of the capital.

"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.

People from South India are celebrating the Avaniatam festival today 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 here.

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

The Delhi Government has offered free travel for women in DTC buses as well low-floor buses today to facilitate their journey to the houses of their brothers.

"It is a great scheme. I took a DTC bus to visit my brother and I didn't have to ask my husband for the bus fare," said Niharika, a homemaker.

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

Celebrated on the full moon of the Hindu month of Shravana, Raksha Bandhan or Rakhi was observed with much gaiety across the country.

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.

The sister performs an 'aarti' of the brother, ties the rakhi, places a 'tika' on his forehead and offers him sweets. In return, brothers shower their sisters with gifts and vow to protect them throughout their lives.

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.

"I bought a big bunny rakhi for my brother and he liked it very much. I also gifted him a T-shirt and prayed for his long life. He gave me a pair of gold earrings and it's amazing," said Rakhsa Singh, a Class 9 student.

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

"The auspicious time for rakhi begins after 5 p.m. and if possible brothers and sisters should perform the ceremony in the evening. But there is no harm in tying rakhi before this," said Ravinder Nagar, head priest of the Laxmi Narayan Temple here.

The capital saw a huge rush of people travelling to meet their brothers and sisters. Many women and men in their best clothes were seen doing last minute shopping, buying rakhis and sweets for the celebration.

"I could not shop for rakhi as I was out of town for some office work and returned Tuesday. So I am shopping now and going to my brother's house to tie the rakhi," said Neeti Gambhir, a software engineer.

To send gifts online, several portals are offering mega deals. For instance, rakhis can be delivered at short notice. The mailer includes a designer rakhi and a packet containing saffron leaves, rice grains, a cardamom and crystal sugar.

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