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Raksha Bandhan

Raksha Bandhan 2018 and 2019

Raksha Bandhan is a regional Hindu religious festival that is celebrated in north and west India, Nepal, and parts of Pakistan. In 2018, the holiday falls on Sunday 26 August.

YearDateDayHolidayStates
201826 AugSunRaksha Bandhan CG, DD, GJ, MP, RJ, UK
& UP
201915 AugThuRaksha Bandhan CG, DD, GJ, MP, RJ, UK
& UP
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Raksha Bandhan’s basic idea is to honour the bond between brothers and sisters. In fact, the words “raksha bandhan” mean “bond of protection.”

The main events of the holiday involve sisters tying a “rakhi,” a kind of sacred thread, around the wrist of their brothers. This is to indicate their love for their brothers. The brother, in turn, gives his sisters gifts that indicate his commitment to protecting them.

Today, rakhi threads are sometimes given to “non-sisters.” For example, priests may tie them on the wrists of congregants, friends may exchange them, and others tie them around the wrists of Indian soldiers. In these cases, the rakhi indicates simply protection rather than a brother-sister relationship.

The rakhis are very colourful, made of red and golden threads that are intertwined. But there is more going on than just the exchange of rakhis on Raksha Bandhan. You will also observe traditional singing and dancing, find Indian sweets and souvenirs for sale, and see various local cultural celebrations.