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What is Rakhi – (Raksha Bandan)?

Dear Readers

It’s the Indian festival time of Rakhi (Raksha Bhandan) on 26th of August. For those who do not celebrate and do not know what it means, this blog will give you a general idea of Raksha Bandan (Rakhi). A Rakhi is a threaded bracelet, often made of silk including gold and silver threads.

The relationship between Indian siblings is extraordinary, and is given importance in every part of the world. However, when it comes to India the relationship becomes all the more important, and there is the festival called “Raksha Bandhan” (Rakhi) dedicated to sibling love.

Rakhi Threads

As mentioned above, the festival is made up of two words, namely “Raksha” and “Bandhan”. As per the Sanskrit terminology, the occasion means “the tie or knot of protection”, where “Raksha” stands for the protection and “Bandhan” signifies the verb to tie. Together, the festival symbolizes the eternal love of the brother-sister relationship, but this does not only apply to blood relationships. It is also celebrated amongst cousins, sisters and sisters-in-law (Bhabhi), fraternal aunts (Bua) and their nephews (Bhatija), and other such relations.

Therefore, Raksha Bandhan typically means the sign and bond of protection. It is a much-awaited Hindu festival that bonds and strengthens the relationships between brothers and sisters of all ages. Rakhi is observed on the final day of the month of Sharavana according to the Hindu calendar, which falls in August every year

On this day, a sister ties a rakhi around the wrist of her brother, offering protection and prayer for his prosperity, health and well-being. The brother in return offers a gift, and promises to protect his sister from any harm under any circumstances. The festival is also celebrated between brothers and sisters belonging to distant family members, relatives or cousins. Extended families are very important to Indian culture.

tie a rakhi

Around July & early August, sisters begin to buy rakhis for their brothers that are specially decorated for the occasion. The sisters look out for special rakhis incorporating colourful threads, silver rakhis, bracelets, amulets and other mens’ wrist accessories for the occasion.


On the day of Raksha Bandhan, brothers and sisters wear new clothes and observe the festival in the presence of their parents, elders and grandparents. The ritual involves lighting a diya (a type of earthen lamp) that represents the fire deity, and performing of Aarti (a type of blessing using a candle) by the sisters. They perform prayers for the well-being of their brother and apply a “tilak” (a red dot) on the forehead of their brothers. Along with this, a portion of sweet dessert or dry fruits is fed to the brother, and finally the rakhi is tied around the wrist of brother.

rakhi thali

After the rakhi is tied around the wrist, the brother will offer a gift to his sister. The gift could be in the form of money, a dress, a piece of jewellery, or any other such present. For brothers who want to buy gifts for  their sisters, Laality has some great ideas in the accessories section of the website.


It is not always possible to tie the rakhi on a brothers wrist personally if the sister and brother are living in different towns and countries.  Often the sister will send a rakhi and a card to the brother, sending her blessing for protection and well being. The rakhi will then be tied on his wrist by his wife or a cousin.

I personally can not tie a rakhi on my brothers wrists due to the distance of our dwellings, but I am very lucky this year to be spending raksha bandhan with both my brothers. This will truly be a special moment for me.

For all the ladies who are celebrating this day and have the opportunity to tie rakhi on your brothers wrists, here are some dress ideas for you to wear for the day. You can see these and more on the Laality website.

Net Anarkali SuitLong Top Trousers Suit


Happy Rakhi day to everyone.


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