About Raksha Bandhan
History of Raksha Bandhan
This ancient Hindu festival is also known as Rakhi Purnima. It is celebrated on the full moon of the Hindu month 'Shravana'.
Why Raksha Bandhan is celebrated
Raksha Bandhan celebrates the bond between brothers and sisters. As the concept of love and duty between siblings is universal, this festival is popular with many cultures in India and transcends its Hindu origin.
To mark their relationship, on the morning of Raksha Bandhan, the sister and brother will gather together with their family. Often in front of a lamp, the sister ties a rakhi (thread) on her brother's right wrist. This symbolises their emotional bond and the renews the vow of the brother to protect his sister.
Rakhis can also be used to celebrate other relationships between friends and neighbours. It is said that giving a Rakhi is a polite way for a girl to put someone from the opposite sex who is making unwanted romantic advances into the friend-zone.
Rakhis are often made from silk with gold and silver threads and can be decorated with sequins, and semi-precious stones.
Did you know?
The word Raksha means 'protection', whilst Bandhan means 'to tie'.
In Indian history, Rakhis have been used 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 powerful King Porus, it is said that Alexander’s wife had approached Porus and tied a Rakhi on his hand to ensure the safety of her husband.