Rakshabandhan, the auspicious ‘bond of protection’ celebrating brother-sister relationship would be observed on a working day this year. The festival commemorating the bond of affection, faith, duty and promises would fall on August 7. ‘Rakshabandhan’ or ‘Rakhi’ has a socio-cultural connotation as it is celebrated not just among Hindus but other diverse communities as well. Legendary Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore had suggested to emphasize on Rakhi in order to infuse communal harmony among Indians during the British empire. Rakshabandhan is widely observed by north-western Indians residing in Pakistan and the Hindu diaspora from Nepal who have settled elsewhere.
In ‘Sikhism,’ according to historical texts, it is often termed as Rakhardi or Rakhari. ‘Jainism’ considers Rakhi as a religious festival wherein devotees are given sacred threads by priests. In Hindu tradition it primarily focuses on saying prayers before tying the Rakhi thread.
Hindu mythology has its own legends and fables with regard to the festival’s religious significance. When Lord Vishnu defeated the demon ‘King Bali’ thrice, he was compelled to stay with the latter as a boon granted to him by the former. In order to get her husband back, Goddess Laxmi tied a thread on Bali’s wrist and asked for a gift she desired as a token of their brother-sister relationship. The demon king humbly fulfilled his sister’s wish. The prayer recitations during the festival are drawn from ancient Sanskrit scriptures. Rakshabandhan falls on Hindu lunisolar month of ‘Shravana,’ which happens to be August as per the Gregorian calendar.