There is no denying that Raksha Bandhan is one of the most fervently celebrated festivals in India. And why shouldn’t it be? After all, it pays an ode to the never-ending bond between a brother & a sister, a connection that makes for a lifelong unconditional relationship. This day is filled with excitement, but without forgetting to honour our tradition of tying rakhi to our brothers. In fact, let’s just mention that gone are the days when only the brothers had a rakhi tied to them. Now, irrespective of gender, we give gifts to each other and promise to be lifelong friends to one another.


While the way we celebrate Raksha Bandhan has changed over the years, some things have remained constant. Be it the excitement with which we prepare for this day or the effort we make to come under one roof again, how we feel about Raksha Bandhan now is still the same as in our childhood. From exchanging gifts like Raksha Bandhan mugs, hampers & more to sending rakhi across countries, we have found ways to express our care for our siblings in different ways despite our differences, both metaphorically and literally. With Raksha Bandhan just around the corner, let’s take a trip down memory lane to reminisce about the gifts we all have received on Raksha Bandhan while growing up.


The sweets that make a comeback every year


Kaju Katli, Barfi, Dodha, and Sonpapdi are the stars of our childhood and a quintessential gift item on every Indian festival, let alone Raksha Bandhan. Gorging on these treats as a kid was something we looked forward to every year. In fact, not much has changed as these sweets still end up in our homes.


The treats that marked our childhood


Treat hampers were that luxury gift that left us gasping. We just couldn’t control our excitement upon receiving them. After all, this one gift could bowl any other out of the alley, considering the number of treats we got to open and eat. It had chocolates, biscuits, chips, juices, and whatnot; who could resist that as a kid?


The crockery that never made it out of the cabinet


At one point, we couldn’t care any less about receiving another crockery set that never got to be used, as it was reserved for special occasions. Even now, this gift sneaks into our lives as some cousin or another has an unusual attachment to it, or they are just plain lazy to shop around. Well, however much we protest, crockeries never go out of fashion as a gift option. But that will not stop us from at least raising our voices against that ‘ 6-piece glass set’ that we always received and still do.


The decor items collected over the years


Who can forget the random paintings or picture frames we got as a gift on Raksha Bandhan? Be it a wall clock, a vase, or other decor items, all of these gifts are like Raksha Bandhan souvenirs we have collected over the years. We see them all around our house, giving us a moment to look back on the memories we have lived. Decor items are the gifts that our mother loved, and very lovingly decorated our house with.


The cash envelopes that we secretly desired


Whether we accept it or not, this is the truth. How many of us just wanted to collect those gift envelopes from our siblings and cousins? It was almost the most awaited moment of the day besides the delicious food. It doesn’t help that some of our siblings were and still are just bad at giving gifts. So, cash envelopes were the absolute commodity back in the day. Even now, as an adult,  nothing tops getting to buy our own gift with the cash collected from others.


We all have either received or given these gifts at least once in our life. So much so that Raksha Bandhan seems almost incomplete without them. While we have all moved on from these as fancy gifts flooded the market, there is something oddly nostalgic about receiving rakhi sweets,  chocolates, or dry fruits. While we didn’t appreciate these ‘rozmarra’ gifts at that moment, they have a special place in the memories of Raksha Bandhan we get to relive later. After all, these gifts are almost like an unspoken tradition by now.