Rākhī Bandhan

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A popular festival held on the full moon day of Śrāvaṇa (July–August) (the same day on which Śrāvaṇī Pūrṇimā is celebrated), marked by girls and young women tying coloured threads (rākhī) around the wrists of their ‘brothers’ (a category which may also include other male relatives and friends). The tie (bandhan) symbolizes a request for protection (rākhī/rakṣā), which is answered with a small gift of money. In this way familial love, or some other mutual bond, is confirmed and reinforced. A popular explanation of its origins is given in the myth of Indra's wife, Śacī, tying a mantra-charged thread to his wrist to enable him to defeat the asuras. Various stories are also told of its historical use in summoning military aid from allies.

Subjects: Hinduism.

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