Raksha Bandhan

Festivals of India, August 31st, 2023
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illustration by Manish

Raksha Bandhan is a popular Hindu festival celebrated in India and some other parts of South Asia. It typically falls on the full moon day in the month of Shravan (usually August) according to the Hindu lunar calendar. The festival is a celebration of the bond between brothers and sisters.

The central ritual of Raksha Bandhan involves the sister tying a decorative thread or “rakhi” around her brother’s wrist. This rakhi symbolizes her love, care, and protection for her brother. In return, the brother gives his sister a gift and makes a promise to protect and support her throughout her life.

The term “Raksha Bandhan” translates to “the bond of protection.” It signifies the deep and special connection between siblings, emphasizing the importance of their relationship in Indian culture. The festival goes beyond just the immediate family, as women may tie rakhis to other men in their lives whom they consider as brothers, whether they are related by blood or not.

Raksha Bandhan is celebrated with joy and enthusiasm across India. Families come together, exchange gifts, and share a meal. It’s a day of reaffirming the sibling bond and expressing love and gratitude. The festival reflects the values of mutual respect, care, and solidarity that are cherished within Indian families.

Over time, Raksha Bandhan has also taken on a broader significance, becoming a symbol of unity and harmony among different communities and religious groups. It’s a celebration that transcends boundaries and showcases the spirit of togetherness.

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