Raksha Bandhan is a holiday that is observed among Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains in many parts of India, Pakistan, Nepal and Mauritius. This Hindu festival celebrates the special bond that exists between brothers and sisters, and the love and honor that is shared between them. The ritual takes place on the first full moon day of the month of Shraven.
Several different rituals and traditions accompany this festival as described below:
Preparation-Right before Raksha Bandhan, women shop for the ceremonial thread that they are going to tie around their brother’s wrist. This thread – also called a Rakki – can be very simple, or very ornate depending on the woman’s choice. Also during this time, brothers often search for gifts to give their sisters, which may also be something as simple as a token of affection or something more elaborate.
The Ritual-On the day of the ritual, the siblings get together – along with members of their family – and it begins in front of a lit candle or lamp. It is there that they face each other and the sister ties the ceremonial thread to her brother’s wrist.
After The Ritual-immediately following the tying of the thread, the sister often says a prayer for her brother. Following the prayer, the sister then applies a tilak to her brother’s head, and he, in turn, promises to protect her. The sister then feeds her brother an assortment of different seasonal foods.