Raksha Bandhan celebrated with great fervour in country

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New Delhi, Aug 16 (UNI) The festival of ''Raksha Bandhan'' was celebrated with great gaiety and fervour in many parts of the country, including Jammu and Kashmir which is reeling under bandh, today.

The festival, which is a symbol of love between a brother and a sister, is marked by the tying of a rakhi or holy thread by the sister on the wrist of her brother. The brother in return offers a gift to his sister and vows to look after her, the brother and sister traditionally feed each other sweets.

The occasion was celebrated with lots of fun and enthusiasm in Jammu even as the city observed complete shut down for the consecutive 25th day on Amarnath land row.

Though shutters of most of the shops remained down in the entire temple city despite an announcement of curfew relaxation for the day Jammu celebrated 'Rakhi' with a difference, said one shopkeeper, adding that we would rejoice and celebrate the day when justice would be done to the people of Jammu.

However, some of the sweet shops remained open till noon while the kite stalls observed a huge rush of customers in the morning as kite flying marks the celebration of 'Raksha Bandhan' and Janamashtami in Jammu.

In national capital, President Pratibha Devisingh Patil and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh celebrated the festival with a number of school children, who visited them to extend greetings of the festival.

People in Punjab went to tastefully decorated temples and offered prayers. Chandigarh authorities took special measures to maintain peace and security at the temples and rakhi stalls by deploying security personnel.

Haryana and Himachal Pradesh also witnessed great festivities during the day.

In Himachal Pradesh, Governor Prabha Rau tied ''Rakhi'' to Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal who called on her at the Raj Bhavan at Shimla to express his greetings.

Reports of ''Raksha Bandhan '' celebrations were received from Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Ambala, Yamunanagar, Rohtak, Hissar, Sonepat, Karnal, Shimla, Mandi, Kangra, Hamirpur and solan.

For Mumbai it was a shopkeepers' day as they made brisk business.

Long queues were seen at 'rakhi' stalls and sweet shops.

Meanwhile, in Orrisa a unique gesture was seen. Brahmakumaris of Prajapita Brahma Kumari Iswariya Vishwa Vidyalaya tied rakhis on the wrists of Baripada Circle jail inmates in Baripada.

They also went to the Gopabandhu Blashram and Sriram Chandra Deaf and Dumb school and distributed sweets so that they don't feel neglected on the day.

Raksha Bandhan is generally celebrated on the full moon of the month of Shraavana.

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