Decorate your own Rakhi Thali this festival.
The chaste bond of love between a brother and a sister is one of the deepest and noblest human emotions. 'Raksha Bandhan' or 'Rakhi' is a special occasion to celebrate this emotional bonding by tying a holy Rakhi around the wrist. The Rakhi pulsates with sisterly love and sublime sentiments. It means 'a bond of protection', and Raksha Bandhan signifies that the strong must protect the weak from all that's evil. The exclusively crafted Rakhi Thali is meant for the sister who wants to express her feelings of love and devotion to brothers.
Rakhi Pooja Thali is the plate in which the sisters put all the materials required for performing the Rakhi tying ceremony. These materials include 'diya' for performing aarti, sweets, 'roli', 'akshat,' and Rakhi. The beautifully decorated Rakhi Thalis gives an impression of your love and care for your brother.
Decorating is an essential part of Rakhi customs celebrations in India. And here, the term decoration is limited to decorating your house and yourself and extends to the ubiquitous Thali, which every sister takes great care to illustrate lest her brother not likes it. The Thali is significant of the sister's love and undying devotion to her brother and her desire to please him always.
In every Hindu Puja, thali decoration plays a significant role, as no puja will be complete without these decorations. Sisters on the festive occasion of Bhai dooj, graduate the art form of decorating the thalis. Their brother later rewards the pains and efforts of decorating the puja thali by sisters with presents & gifts. On this day, sisters compete with each other to put up their very best. The puja thali or plate for Bhai dooj contains roli and rice in their respective katoris and coconut, all tastefully decorated. After putting all these items, sisters can then place the prasad onto the Thali, a little piece of mithai or a batasha. Thali can further be embellished with a host of novel designs with materials such as colored grains, felt paper, poster paints, flowers, buds, petals, leaves, beads, and sequins.
Decorating a Rakhi Thali
Thali is a round plate usually made out of copper but depending upon the household's status, it could be bronze, silver, or gold, and some also have intricate designs on them. Traditionally, the Rakhi Thali is the same as the Thali for the Pooja (ceremony of prayer) of the other festivals' deities. The Rakhi Thali contains a diya (small candle), roli or tika (paste for anointing the forehead), rice, sandalwood, incense sticks. In the Raksha Bandhan Thali, the Rakhis are kept along with the moli (sacred thread, usually red in color).
Though these Thalis were passed on much as a heritage in Ancient India, they are today easily available in the markets at very affordable prices. One can buy a copper Thali or a Gold Thali depending on your means; the popular ones are the gold plated ones. Thalis come with the containers and stand for the various components of the Pooja or have complimenting incense stick stands and diyas, containers for rice and roli, and place to keep sweets.
Rakhi Thali Customs
Once you have chosen a Thali, you can be as creative as you like in its decoration. Different significations are linked to the Thali in other parts of the country. However, the famous custom is to draw the Swastika in the middle of the Thali with a red paste. Unlike in the west, the Swastika is a much-respected symbol in India. It is the symbol of the elephant god Ganesha and has no connection to the haunting Nazi version. Usually, small containers are placed on the Thali for the roli, diya, and incense stick. The Rakhi and the flowers are also placed on it while the sweets are brought on a different plate.
Beetle leaves are used as a replacement of the containers as they are considered auspicious. In much of South India, a banana leaf is placed on the Thali, and the Swastika is painted on the banana leaf. In Urban India, Colorful Bandhani cloth, or Golden lace too, is used as a means of decorating the Thali.
However, it is a very personal gesture, and it is not rare to find Thalis, which has been painted by the Sisters or innovative Thalis, which would serve well as a piece of art.
Rakhi Thali Decoration Ideas:
You can decorate the Thali with different fresh, colorful flowers. Either fill the entire Thali with the flowers or decorate them only on it's boundary. Thali can be decorated with single-color flowers also. Instead of the whole flower, only the petals of the flower can also be used for decoration.
Decorate these Rakhi Thalis with dry fruits like cashew nuts, chestnuts, raisins, cocoa nut, pistachio, almond, betel nut, etc. Many circles of different dry-fruits can be made one after another, which gives a colorful look. Or an entire base of mixed dry fruits can also be prepared.
The Thali can be decorated with roli and turmeric. You can use them as a liquid by mixing a little water to roli and the turmeric. The red and yellow combination of these two will give a traditional look to your Thali.
Different colorful paper cuttings can be used for the decoration. However, the Thali will wear a look of collage painting. The papers used in such decoration could be plain papers with a single color or printed documents containing some or other pictures.
This type of decoration will attract children more. Drawing lines of chocolates and toffees can divide the area of Thali. And in every division, a different item could be kept like the Rakhi, diya, sweets, roli, and akshat.
These Rakhi Thalis can also be decorated with painting colors. Pour the paint colors in the palette, hold the brush in your hands, and let your imagination fly. You can make geometric, floral, landscape, or other themes on the Thali.
Sweets Rakhi Thali:
The sweets could be used as decorative items. Either put full pieces of the sweets decoratively or place small amounts of sweets by cutting them in different shapes. You can also use a combination of them.
Rakhi Thali Decoration
Traditionally the Rakhi Thali is the same as the Thali for the Pooja of the deities. The Rakhi Thali contains a diya, roli or tika, rice, sandalwood, incense sticks. In the Raksha Bandhan Thali, the Rakhis are kept along with the moli.
These days there are a lot many variations of the Rakhi Thali available in the market. The Thali or the plate could be of silver or brass or simple steel. They may have fixed containers and stand for the Pooja's various components or have complimenting incense stick stands and diyas, containers for rice and roli, and place to keep sweets.
You can innovate your way of decorating the Rakhi Thali. Brass or silver or silver plated Rakhi Thali is considered most auspicious. One of the essentials is drawing a Swastika in the middle of the Rakhi Thali, the symbol of Lord Ganesha. You need three tiny containers for roli, rice and water, a diya, and an incense stick stand. Rakhi and flowers can be placed in the Thali itself, and sweets can accompany a separate plate.
You can use Betel leaves as a replacement of the containers. Betel leaves are considered auspicious.
You can put a banana leaf on an ordinary thali to give it a festive look and arrange the banana leaf's pooja ingredients.
You may decorate the Rakhi Thali with a yellow or red cotton Bandhani cloth and decorate with gota (Golden lace) or moli. Take care that diya and the burning incense sticks don't come in direct contact with the fabric.
Create a sacred aura by placing a jute mat and asanas and arrange your things on it. It is up to one's imagination and the traditional perspectives to decorate the Rakhi Thali and perform the ceremony. Be your innovative self, and enjoy the auspices of the day.
Rakhi Thali Decoration Idea with Sandalwood: