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Raksha Bandhan 2023: Shubh Muhurat, Pooja Rituals and Why is Rakhi Celebrated Two Days This Year?

Raksha Bandhan’s celebration dates, either on August 30 or 31, have led to confusion due to the influence of Bhadra time. Let's explore the appropriate pooja rituals and auspicious timings (shubh muhurat) for the occasion.

Shivangi Rai
On this occasion, sisters tie a decorative thread called Rakhi around their brothers' wrists. (Image Courtesy- Pixabay)
On this occasion, sisters tie a decorative thread called Rakhi around their brothers' wrists. (Image Courtesy- Pixabay)

Raksha Bandhan, also known as Rakhi, is a meaningful Hindu festival that honours the strong and special connections among siblings.

This yearly celebration takes place on the full moon day of the Shravan month in the Hindu calendar. During Rakhi, brothers and sisters engage in various customs to express their love for one another.

On this occasion, sisters tie a decorative thread called Rakhi around their brothers' wrists, apply a small mark on their foreheads, and wish for their happiness and long life. In return, brothers pledge to safeguard and care for their sisters, and often give them gifts they appreciate.

It's important to note that in contemporary times, the tradition has evolved, and it's also common for brothers to tie Rakhi on their sisters' wrists. Sisters may also celebrate the day by exchanging Rakhis with each other.

Raksha Bandhan 2023 Date and Shubh Muhurat

This year, Raksha Bandhan falls on August 30 and 31. There are two different timings mentioned due to a period called "Bhadra Kaal," during which it's traditionally advised not to perform Raksha Bandhan rituals. This means that you can tie Rakhi on these two dates. The Bhadra Kaal for Raksha Bandhan ends at 9:01 pm on August 30, after which you can perform the rituals.

On August 30, the Bhadra Poonch (an inauspicious time) for Raksha Bandhan will last from 5:30 pm to 6:31 pm, and the Bhadra Mukha (another inauspicious time) will begin at 6:31 pm and end at 8:11 pm. The Poornima Tithi (Full Moon) starts on August 30 at 10:58 am and continues until August 31 at 7:05 am.

Raksha Bandhan 2023 Pooja Rituals

To make Raksha Bandhan special, it's recommended to avoid the inauspicious Bhadra timings and instead choose the auspicious Shravan Purnima day.

On this day, it's customary to take a bath before sunrise and pay respects to the divine and ancestors through rituals. This includes the Upakarma or Avani Avittam ceremony.

During the Aparahna period (midday), the central act of tying the Rakhi on the brother's right wrist should occur. When performing this ritual, it's advised that the brother avoids sitting facing south. Both the brother and sister should cover their heads with a handkerchief or scarf as a sign of respect.

For the Raksha Bandhan puja, it's also recommended to perform Ghatasthapana, which is the ritual installation of a pot symbolizing the divine presence. This adds to the auspiciousness of the occasion.

Raksha Bandhan 2023: Why is Rakhi Celebrated Two Days This Year?

This year, a dilemma has emerged over celebrating Raksha Bandhan on August 30 or 31 due to conflicting auspicious factors. Bhadra, an inauspicious period, coincides with August 30 alongside the full moon in the Shravan month. This uncertainty has extended the festivities over both days.

Traditionally, Raksha Bandhan is observed during Shravan Purnima to avoid Bhadra, preferably in the afternoon. The Bhadra shadow will persist throughout Raksha Bandhan day. The advisable time for tying Rakhi is after Bhadra ends on August 30, though some astrologers discourage nighttime ceremonies. Sawan Purnima starts on August 30, overlapping with Bhadra until 9:01 PM. Tying Rakhi after Bhadra's conclusion is suitable.

This intricate astrological situation has led to the extension of Raksha Bandhan festivities and created a unique circumstance for sisters and brothers to celebrate.

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