Raksha Bandhan in Sanskrit literally means “the tie or knot of protection”. The word Raksha means protection, while Bandhan is the verb to tie.
It is an ancient Hindu festival that ritually celebrates the love and duty between brothers and their sisters. The sister performs a rakhi ceremony, then prays to express her love and her wish for the well-being of her brother.
In return, the brother ritually pledges to protect and take care of his sister under all circumstances. It is one of the several occasions in which family ties are affirmed in Hindu Society.
The festival is also an occasion to celebrate brother-sister like family ties between cousins or distant family members, sometimes between biologically unrelated men and women.
To many, the festival transcends biological family, brings together men and women across religions, diverse ethnic groups and ritually emphasizes harmony and love. It is observed in the Hindu calendar month of Śrāvaṇa and typically falls in August every year.