The auspicious festival of Rakhi is celebrated in the month of Shravana on a full moon day (the month of July-August according to the Gregorian calendar). This day has different significance for people residing in different parts of India. Shravana Purnima (full moon day) is on the same day as 'Upakarma/Avani Avittam' (changing of the threads for the Brahmins) in southern India. It is celebrated in northern parts of India as 'Rakhi Purnima' and is celebrated as 'Nariyal Purnima' in the western parts of India, wherein a coconut offering is made to the sea as a mark of worship to Lord Varuna, the god of sea. In parts of Gujarat, it is celebrated as 'Pavitropana', wherein people worship Lord Shiva and similarly, the sacred festival is celebrated in central India as 'Kajari Purnima' and is considered an important day for farmers and women blessed with a son. However, particularly in northern India, the rakhi thread is tied by girls and women to their male cousins, as well as unrelated boys and men who are considered as brother, and they vow to protect and take care of their sisters as long as they live.
Avani Avittam, or Upakarma, as it is known in many regions, is one of the very significant rituals related with the Brahmin community and is celebrated mainly in the southern Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Orissa. Here, Avittam is one of the 27 nakshatras or stars. This day holds great importance for the Rig, Yajur, and Sama Vedic Brahmins as on this day the sacred thread which is worn by the Brahmin men is changed. It is generally a community observance and is held on the banks of a river or a pond. It falls in the Tamil month of Avani, on the full moon day of the Hindu calendar.
Kajari Purnima is celebrated on the same day of Raksha Bandhan. It is celebrated in some states of Central India like Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Bihar. The festival is significant for farmers and women blessed with son. Kajari Purnima means full moon and it is celebrated on a full moon day in the Hindu month of Shravana which falls in August. Kajari Purnima is an important festival for farmers as this day marks the beginning of the new agricultural season.
Nariyal Purnima, also known as the Coconut Full Moon, is celebrated with great merriment in many states of western India. Nariyal Purnima falls in the month of Shravana Purnima, which symbolises the end of monsoon season, and marks the beginning of the new fishing season for the fishermen as they avoid going into waters before this. Post festival, monsoon starts to recede; the sky becomes clear and the sea calm, as the tides too recede. All this makes fishing in the seas easy and safe.
Pavitropana is celebrated in Gujarat in the month of Shravana on the day of Purnima (July-August according to Gregorian calendar). Being great devotees of Lord Shiva, Gujarati community worships him and seeks out his blessings as it is believed that whosoever prays to him on this sacred day, his/her sins will be forgiven. On the eve of Shravana Purnima, a few twisted strands of cotton are dipped in a mixture called Panchagaivya, which is prepared from cow's ghee (prepared from milk), milk, curd, urine and excreta.
Rakhi, a festival celebrated with great pomp is of much significance in the country. Learn more about the significance of Rakhi.