Today Aug 7, is an auspicious Hindu festival ‘Raksha Bandhan’ that observes brotherhood and love. Raksha Bandhan means “bond of protection.” It is celebrated on the full-moon day of the Hindu calendar month of Shravana, and it is also known as Rakhi Purnima.
On this occasion, sisters tie a rakhi to their brother’s wrists, this symbolizes their emotional bond, and it renews the vow of the brother to protect his sister. While the relationship between sister-brother is almost fighting and disagreement throughout the year, but this day is all about love and letting your sibling know what they mean to you.
The festival is also an opportunity to celebrate brother-sister like family ties between cousins or distant relatives, sometimes between biologically unbound men and women. To many, the festival transcends biological family, brings together men and females across religions, diverse ethnic groups and ritually emphasizes harmony and love.
Days before Raksha Bandhan, sisters shop for Rakhi, the ceremonial thread to tie around her brother’s or brother-like friend’s wrist. Some women make their rakhi. Ater tying the rakhi sister prays for her brother good health and prosperity, while brother gifts her something thoughtful.
Love is beautiful especially when it is genuine. The Raksha Bandhan is, consequently, a fitting time to build on our relationships with our siblings and reaffirm our commitment to love and protect them.
In Indian history, Rakhis have been utilized to strengthen kingdoms and forge alliances. One of the oldest tales associated with Rakhis is when Alexander the Great was undertaking his invasion of the India subcontinent in 326 BC. Encountering the great King Puru, it is said that Alexander’s wife had approached Puru and tied a Rakhi on his hand to ensure the safety of her husband.