More than a billion Hindus celebrate the festival of Raksha Bandhan every year on the full moon during the holy month of Shravan.
The day – also known as “Rakhi” – offers Hindus the opportunity to celebrate the bond and love between a brother and sister, or siblings in general.
“Raksha bandhan” translates to mean “the bond of safety and security” that siblings promise each other, no matter the circumstances.
When is Raksha Bandhan 2022?
Raksha Bandhan dates vary year to year depending on the moon’s calendar cycle. This year it falls on Wednesday 30 August.
Next year it will be on Monday 19 August.
What is the meaning behind Raksha Bandhan?
As one of the oldest festivals in India, Raksha Bandhan – also known as “Rakhi” – is a day that celebrates the bond and love between a brother and sister, or siblings in general.
The words “raksha bandha” means “the bond of safety and security” that siblings promise each other, no matter the circumstances.
Raksha Bandhan has huge historical and mythological significance for Hindus worldwide.
According to the The Indian Express, in Mahabharata, when Lord Krishna had cut his finger while using his divine discus, Draupadi had dressed up his wound using the loose end of her saree.
Thus, he had promised to always protect her, and he had kept his word especially during her public humiliation in the Hastinapur royal court.
The tradition has persisted, with sisters tying a “rakhi” around the wrist of brothers, and them promising to protect them always.
The rakhi band itself serves as a protection for the brothers, and comes in many different varieties, colours and designs.
On 3 August, the “muhurat” or most auspicious time to tie the rakhi is between 9.28am and 9.17pm.
It’s thought that during the ritual, brothers sit facing eastwards, to usher in new opportunities and prospects for their professional life.
How is Raksha Bandhan celebrated?
Every member of the family rises early for rituals; a special puja thali is prepared for the ceremony and roli, rice grains, diya, sweets and rakhis are kept in the thali.
During the “muhurat”, sisters put tilak on their brother’s forehead, tie a sacred thread ‘Rakhi’ on their wrist and pray for a long life.
In return, brothers offer gifts and promises of protection.
Those who don’t have a brother or male cousins usually tie rakhis on their elder sister’s hand, or celebrate the occasion with other relatives or friends.