What is Raksha Bandhan?
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The festival is also observed by Jains as a religious festival, as on Raksha Bandhan, Jain priests give threads to devotees and the festival is also celebrated by many communities as a secular festival. This secular aspect is observed among all people, irrespective of their religion, in West Bengal and Punjab. Various fairs are held in Punjab to mark the occasion.
On Raksha Bandhan, sisters tie a rakhi (sacred thread) on her brother's wrist. This symbolizes the sister's love and prayers for her brother's well-being, and the brother's lifelong vow to protect her. The festival falls on the full moon day (Shravan Poornima) of the Shravan month of the Hindu lunisolar Nepali calendar. The word Raksha means protection, whilst Bandhan is the verb to tie. It is an ancient Hindu festival that ritually celebrates the love and duty between brothers and their sisters.
Raksha Bandhan as a religious festival focuses on performing the aarti and saying prayers prior to tying the rakhi. The prayers draw inspiration from the Hindu scriptures. The other religious feature is the application of the tilak on the forehead of the person wearing the rakhi.