Rakshabandhan (or Rakhi) is a Hindu festival, taking place on the full moon in the month of Sravana, which celebrates brotherhood and love. The word Raksha means protection, whilst Bandhan is the verb to tie. On this day, sisters tie rakhi (a bracelet made of interwoven red and gold threads) on the wrists of their brothers to protect them against evil influences, and pray for their long life and happiness. The brothers, in turn, give a gift which is a promise that they will protect their sisters from any harm. The festival is mostly celebrated in Northern India.
The history of Rakshabandhan dates back to Hindu mythology. In the great Indian epic Mahabharata, Draupadi, wife of the Pandavas, had torn the corner of her sari to prevent Lord Krishna’s wrist from bleeding (he had inadvertently hurt himself). Thus, a bond, that of brother and sister, developed between them, and he promised to protect her.
On this day, Brahmins (priests) change their sacred thread, janoi, and dedicate themselves once again to the study of the scriptures.