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Raksha Bandhan is an ancient Hindu festival which celebrates the bond between brothers and sisters. Girls tie Rakhi (embellished thread) on the wrist of their brothers, praying for their long life and well being. In return, brothers vow to protect them from all adversities throughout their life. They exchange gifts and sweets as a symbol of love and affection. People who aren’t connected by blood but have similar feelings, also celebrate this day.  Although Raksha Bandhan is  a Hindu festival, it is widely celebrated by various sects in India and elsewhere as Rakhi Poornima (full moon). But do you know  why is Raksha Bandhan celebrated?

The historical aspect behind all Indian festivals is extremely fascinating and it stands true for Raksha Bandhan also. It is said that Rani Karnavati of Chittorgarh when faced an impending invasion by Bahadur Shah could not defend her empire as she was a widow. She sent a sacred thread as a bond to Baadshah Humayun asking for protection. Humayun was touched by Rani’s gesture. Vanquished by emotions, he directly charged to protect his sister. By the time he reached Chittorgarh, Karnavati and most of the women had committed suicide. Humayun defeated Bahadur Shah in his attempt to invade and passed over the empire to Rani’s son.

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In India, mythology stands to have a deep-rooted significance. Lord Krishna, once injured himself and was bleeding. Draupadi offered to help him and tied the wound by tearing a piece of her saree. Lord Krishna made a solemn vow to protect Draupadi till eternity and under all circumstances. We all know how Lord Krishna kept his word and rescued Draupadi from the despicable Kauravas.

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Another story that became famous is of Yam(God of Death) and Yamuna. Yamuna tied a Rakhi to Yam and bestowed him with immortality. He was touched by the expression and declared that a brother with a Rakhi tied by his sister will always remain unharmed. The sentiment of Raksha Bandhan is deeply embedded in our culture. Priests in temples tie a red thread on the wrists of devotees. Pilgrims on their way to Sri Vaishnodevi temple tie a red and golden cloth on their forehead. In a marriage, a Mangalsutra is tied by the groom around the neck of the bride. All of these signify not just signifies a bond of love but an eternal promise of protection and embraces them in a family.

We wish you a very happy Raksha Bandhan. Enjoy the day with sweets and gifts. We hope you always stand strong to care and protect.

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Sehar Akram
I love old books, all things stationery, rain-washed roads, copper-hued autumn and many more things.