The Rakhi bracelet, a symbol of
between sister & brother.
A celebration of the bonds between a brother and sister, the family and communal holiday
of Raksha Bandhan (Rakhi) is observed in most Indian communities around the world.
When is Rakhi celebrated in 2017? Raksha Bandhan is traditionally celebrated on the full moon of the month of Shravana which, on the Western calendar, is on Monday, August 7, 2017.
Today, the fight for justice and respect between the sexes in India is gaining worldwide notice, as the media chronicles the physical violence that Indian women and young girls sometimes suffer at the hands of men in Indian society.
If "charity begins at home", the Rakhi tradition between a brother and sister hold out hope that the rituals of respect and honor will continue to play a part in reversing this trend.
All about Raksha Bandan
While the Rahi tradition is believed to date back for millennia, it was only in the 16th century when it became widely popular.
Today, in many Indian communities, a close friend who does not have a sister or brother may also be honored as brothers and sisters on this day.
In fact, Hindu girls may tie rakhi on the wrist of youths they consider their brothers, making Raksha Bandhan a communal as well as a family observance.
More elaborate modern versions of the rakhi may be gold or intricately woven strands of silk, but the traditional rakhi given to brothers on Raksha Bandhan is a single strand of silk that symbolizes the bond. The silk is delicate...almost invisible, but extremely strong. The brother usually gives a gift in return -- a box of sweets or other token of their esteem and affection.
Within families, the highlight of the ceremony is when a sister ties the rakhi, a bejeweled silk string, around her brother's wrist. On Raksha Bandhan prayers are also said as the entire family joins the celebration.
"The sun radiates its sunlight, the radish spreads its seeds,
I tie the rakhi on you, my brother, and wish that may you live long."