Raksha Bandhan is a popular festival celebrated across the country. Irrespective of caste and creed people from all walks of life participate in this festival. It is celebrated on the full moon day of the lunar month Shravana (Shravana Poornima) which also coincides with Upa-karma (changing the sacred thread for the brahmins, Avani Avittom in South India).
Raksha Bandhan is a festival of rakhi. This festival is dedicated to the bonds between brothers and sisters. On this occasion, the sacred relation between sisters and brothers is celebrated.
The festival is also called as Rakhi Poornima, Nariyal Poornima and Kajari Poornima in different states and is celebrated differently.
Once the rakhi has been tied, the sister says a prayer for the well being of her brother – good health, prosperity and happiness. This ritual sometimes involves an aarti, where a tray with lighted lamp or candle is ritually rotated around the brother’s face, along with the prayer and well wishes.
As well as having a significance in human life (i.e. in the fact that brothers and sisters are very important to us), we celebrate the Rakhi festival for mythological and religious reasons as well. Raksha Bandhan can be traced back to several Hindu myths that celebrate the power of sibling bonds. In one myth that is foundational for Raksha Bandhan, for example, Lakshmi uses a sibling bond she has created with Bali to save Lord Vishnu from being trapped. The legend says that Lakshmi tied a Rakhi around the wrist of the evil King Bali and made him a brother so that he allow her husband, Lord Vishnu, to leave his palace. He granted her wish.
For Jains, Raksha Bandhan has an additional significance, as during this festival devotees celebrate their bonds with their priest by receiving woven bracelets or other types of band from the priest.