Celebrated In: India
Rakshabandhan or Rakhi which is celebrated on a full moon day in the month of Sravan (August) is a day when brothers and sisters reaffirm their bonds of affection. It is usually a festival of the Hindus though today people from different religions participate as well.
Sisters tie colourful threads or rakhis on their brother's wrists. The brothers in turn promise to protect their sisters and give them gifts. Around mid-August, on Shravan Purnima, Hindus all over celebrate Raksha Bandhan. "Raksha" means protection, "bandhan" means bound or binding. The festival is also known as Balev.Raksha Bandhan is celebrated in different forms in different areas and it is also known by the names like rakhi, rakhri and saluno.
Sisters tie a special band on their brothers' wrist on the day of Rakhi as a mark of affection. This thread, which pulsates with sisterly love and sublime sentiments, is rightly called the 'Rakhi'. It is a way of telling your brother that you will never forget how he teased you about everything, yet fought with those who spoke a single word against you and how you bid him farewell with a smile, and only he saw those tear drops in your eyes.
As per the traditions, the sister on this day prepares the pooja thali with diya, roli, chawal and rakhis. She worships the deities, ties Rakhi to the brother(s) and wishes for their well-being. The brother in turn acknowledges the love with a promise to be by the sisters' side through thick and thin and gives her a token gift. Raksha Bandhan tightens the bond of love between the sister and brother.
The practice of tying thread was prevalent among the Rajputs and our history is full of instances related to the significance of this tradition. At the time of war when the brave Rajput soldiers prepared to go to the battlefield, the women folk followed the ritual of tying a thread around their wrist after applying a dash of vermilion powder on their forehead. This was considered a sign of good omen and the ladies believed that it would protect their men from the enemy's blow and bring them victory. Today children and women all around the country filling the soldiers with the zest to protect them against the dangers of the enemy tie Rakhi on the wrists of soldiers.
Rakshabandhan if taken in true sense has a much broader perspective; the festival encompasses true sense of peace and brotherhood. The values propagated by the occasion if inculcated by all human beings can bring the much-needed relief from the ongoing violence and mistrust.
The rich Indian mythology provides a religious reason to celebrate the day in a specific way. Many epics are related to the day and the origin of Raksha Bandhan. The festival finds a mention in most of the epics and its origin can be traced back to the mythological Pouranik times.