Happy Raksha Bandhan to all the brothers everywhere!
Kumkum, rakhi, gulab jamun & carrot halwa
(click on image to enlarge)
In the United States, there are festivals that celebrate mothers, fathers, and grandparents. We have similar festivals in India too. Tomorrow marks a very special festival which celebrates the relationship between brothers and sisters called Raksha Bandan. On this day, sisters tie a rakhi (sacred thread) on their brother's wrist. The ceremony symbolizes a sister's love and devotion for her brother's well-being and the brother's promise to protect his sister. After the rakhi is tied, the brother presents his sister with a gift and then they both treat each other with sweets. In my family, I have only one sister so early on, we started tying rakhis on our best friends in India. We knew them from a young age and so naturally we considered them to be like brothers. When we moved to the States, we thought we would lose touch and the tradition would end there. However, we managed to keep it going and though we are not there in person, we send them interactive e-greetings that convey the same message. And they send us thank you greetings in return. So, if you are far from your brother on this day, you can send them a virtual greeting fromwww.123greetings.com; they have a wide selection of cards and it's free to send. It's the thought that matters in the end, you know!