When I look back at my childhood, so many amazing memories come rushing back. Some of the most precious ones are the birth of my brother and the priceless moments I have spent with him. Siblings are the best friends that God and our parents can give us and it’s one of the most beautiful bonds in our lives. India is home to innumerable festivals, and all of them bring the family together, especially Raksha Bandhan, where you get to celebrate your beautiful relationship with your brother or sister. On Raksha Bandhan, sisters tie a sacred thread, called the rakhi, on their brother’s wrist. It symbolizes her love and prayers for her brother’s good health and well-being, and in return, the brothers vow to protect her for life. Since it is a time for celebration, there is nothing more perfect than decorating our home to make it look more charming and occasion appropriate.
I love colour during festivals and I incorporate that in different ways to do up my place. Here are few things you too can do to add a colourful and festive vibe to your homes:
1. Make a Rangoli with flowers
Rangolis are drawn at the entrance of houses because scientifically, it is supposed to have a calming effect on a visitor. It is a pre-requisite for festivals but for Raksha Bandhan I give the concept a twist and make it with flowers and not the coloured powders, as it gives a different look and feel, and also looks very pretty at the entrance. Keep a brass diya at the centre of the floral rangoli to add some more warmth.
2. Use colourful curtains and cushions
Since Raksha Bandhan is a special festival, everything has to be new (not necessarily expensive). So to make my drawing room look balanced, I keep my curtains colourful in bright colours and add a mix of cushion covers in the colour matching the curtains and with prints in different bright colours. I buy ready-made curtains that are pre-stitched in a nice draped style to make the setting look elegant. You can use a mix of different colors and patterns according to your taste.
3. Add fresh flowers and flower vases to the decor
I love fresh flowers (and I will be surprised if you don’t) and along with flowers, I love colourful vases too! Cheap vases are available everywhere or you can use high gloss acrylic paint in colours similar to your décor and do a DIY activity at home. Do the same to old crockery and you have a fine looking table set for the occasion. Add fresh flowers like roses, orchids and sunflowers, they look great, add colour and leave a light scent in the room which makes it a happy and festive environment.
4. Use fairy lights
Twinkling fairy lights always look nice and during festivities such lights come handy. Fairy lights can be used to spruce up balconies, doors or you can decorate one complete wall with lights. I use them on all festivals, be it Raksha Bandhan, Diwali or Christmas but in different ways. They are available in distinctive colours with different twinkling styles and you can always pick any of these to add more light.
5.Decorate with Indian paintings
I love Indian paintings especially from Rajasthan and they give a nice colourful Indian look and feel to my drawing room. It is available in most home décor stores or you can get prints on the internet which is reasonably priced or pick them up in bulk when you visit Rajasthan. I always do that on my trips and keep changing the art on my walls from time to time.
6. Use colourful rugs and floor Carpet
You get such a variety of floor carpets and rugs today, that you can keep changing it as frequently as you like. Just like I change the curtains and cushion covers to give my living room an elegant look and feel, I either match it with a bright rug or a nice Indian carpet. This is one of the simplest ways to add depth and beauty to your celebration space.
7. Decorate the Aarti ki Thali at home
One of the most important part of the Raksha Bandhan festival – the Aarti ki Thali. In this plate, we keep the rakhi, diya, some kum kum, rice and sweets which are all required during the rakhi tying ceremony. You can buy a pre-decorated one from the market or simply make one at home. Take a simple plate and place a red velvet cloth in it to cover the open space. Then add a gajra made of jasmine flowers and place it all around the edge. Then place the rest of the things in the centre and your thali is ready!
8. Serve finger food in baskets
I love feeding my brother and family when they come home and this occasion is even more special. Use baskets to serve sweets, snacks and dry fruits during and after the rakhi tying ceremony as it gives a very rustic yet Indian appeal and feels traditional. These baskets are very easily available in the market.
While these may look like a lot of things to do, trust me, they barely take any time or effort. Make your brother feel special when he steps into your house and trust me, the happiness he will have will be one of the most special things that day and it will be completely worth the effort. Also, more the reason to ask for more gifts! 😉