Raksha Bandhan, or simply Rakhi is a Hindu festival, celebrated in many parts of the Indian subcontinent, notably India and Nepal. Raksha bandhan means “bond of protection”. It is observed on the full moon day of the Hindu luni-solar calendar month of Shravana, which typically falls in Gregorian calendar month of August.
The festival celebrates the love and duty between brothers and sisters. It is also popularly used to celebrate any brother-sister type of relationship between men and women who may or may not be biologically related. On Raksha Bandhan, a sister ties a rakhi (sacred thread) on her brother’s wrist with a prayer for his prosperity and happiness. This symbolizes the sister’s love. The brother gives her a token gift and a promise to protect her.
Raksha Bandhan is primarily observed on the Indian subcontinent. It is also celebrated by some Jains and Sikhs, and by Hindu communities in other parts of the world. Among the Jains, Jain priests give threads to devotees. Raksha Bandhan has been an important tradition in the history of Sikhism as well, sometimes referred to as Rakhardi or Rakhari. In Nepal, the festival is called Janai Purnima or Rishitarpani, involving a sacred thread ceremony, one observed by Hindus and Newar Buddhist communities.