One of the most important and pious bonds around the world is that shared between siblings. And Indian Hindus mark the festival of Raksha Bandhan to celebrate this bond. The annual festival is celebrated on the last day of the Hindu month of Shravana or Sawan, which usually falls in July or August.
Also known as Rakhi, Saluno, Silono, and Rakhari in different parts, Raksha Bandhan in literal terms means protection or care of the brother-sister bond. On this day, sisters tie rakhi, a pious thread on their brother’s wrist, while brothers promise to protect them against all the evils around.
The history behind the festival of Raksha Bandhan dates back to ancient times. According to Hindu mythology, the great Indian epic Mahabharata mentions the brother-sister bond between Draupadi and Krishna. To save Krishna from bleeding, Draupadi tore her saree and tied a piece around his wrist. Krishna, in return, promised to take care of her as a brother.
There are many other popular mythological legends that describe the importance and origin of Raksha Bandhan, emphasizing on the bond between a brother and his sister.
The ancient legend of Bhavishya Purana mentions the bond between Indra Dev and Sachi, whereas Bhagavata Purana and Vishnu Purana mentions the brother-sister love between King Bali and Goddess Lakshmi.
The story of Yamraj and Yamuna is another popular legend about the origin and history of Raksha Bandhan, also resulting in the celebration of the festival of Bhai Dooj.