One of my favorite Indian festivals, Rakshabandhan (or Rakhee for short) is just around the corner. If this was any other year, we would have driven from Raleigh to my cousin Harsh’s house in Charlotte, NC, where three generations of cousins get together each year to celebrate the special bond between brothers and sisters by tying bracelets and giving presents. How many of us are there you ask?
- There’s my Maternal grandma who has five children all of whom are married, so that’s a total of 1 + 10 = 11.
- They have produced a total of 9 children of their own each of whom is married, so that’s another 18.
- Most of those children have produced offsprings of their own with a current count of 15.
- That’s a GRAND TOTAL of 43!
It is the best chaos you can imagine. And my wish is that one day I am like my almost 90-year-old grandma watching so many generations together under one roof. With my father’s side of the family distributed all over the globe, I have truly appreciated that at least I have 43 others close by :)
So not only is the getting together part fun, but I like the simplicity of what the festival stands for. It isn’t about worshipping deities, or long ceremonies which us Indians are so famous for, or having to dress up in fancy – sometimes itchy – Indian clothes (unless you want to).
Instead, it is about a sister promising her brother that she will always wish for his safety, health, and happiness, and the brother promising in return that he will always be there to take care of her no matter what! The sister ties a rakhee bracelet, while the brother gives a small present or money as a thanks. Sealed with hugs and followed by some really good food made by my aunties!
This year there will be no such celebration sadly, because we all want to respect the social distancing rules and keep each other safe. But much like last year, Asha, Arjun, and I have been like busy bees making our custom rakhee bracelets that we can mail to all our cousins. Last year we used fusion beads, gems, felt, construction paper, pipe cleaners, and ribbons.
This year we used stretchy string, flower beads, embroidery floss, and alphabet beads. I used Pinhole Press to create custom cards using my own art, and also some adorable custom circle stickers to seal them.
While it will never be the same as getting together in person, I hope that each of these envelopes brings a lot of cheer to all our cousins. Because near or far, we wish them well no matter what!
I am curious to know how rakhee traditions have changed for you this year. Or what part of your celebrations will you be able to keep consistent? Oh and I definitely want to know if you have more than 43 family members who get together and just how much fun it is! = )
As a special treat just for Rakhee, the Hello Namaste! board books are 50% off** with code NAMASTE2020. So if you are thinking of sending some rakhee presents to all the little boys and girls in your life, please consider these books which will truly be treasured and played with for a long time to come. Best of all, they can be shipped to two different addresses if you say so and list it under special instructions. Click here to purchase or visit the HELLO NAMASTE! BOOKS tab in the menu above.
With that, I wish you all a very happy Rakshabandhan!
**Offer valid for purchases of $50 or more, until August 3, 2020. Not valid on Amazon purchases. Please use special instructions if you wish the booksets to be mailed to two separate addresses.