Why We Celebrate Rakhi

Meaning and Significance

RakshaBandhan originates from Sanskrit, literally meaning “safety” and “bond”!

This auspicious festival is also known as Rakhi Purnima or Rakhi which falls on the full-moon day or Purnima in the Hindu calendar month of Shravan.

Raksha Bandhan celebrates the unique bond between a brother and his sister.

 RakshaBandhan Vidhi

 During a Rakshabandhan ceremony, a sister is responsible for tying a talisman or amulet bracelet, called a “rakhi,” on her brother's right wrist; this rakhi is believed to symbolically provide protection from challenges in the year ahead.

Rakhis can be either handmade or store-bought bracelets that are crafted using brightly colored, sturdy thread like embroidery floss. For some families in America, it can be made of the same kind of cotton or silk thread that you would use to braid into colorful friendship bracelets. Some sisters take time to craft their rakhis at home. 

Most rakhis feature a central eye-catching element; a brightly colored, fluffy pom-pom ball is common. They may also include a decorative combination of beads, stones, or sequins, ending with a pair of strings, so it can be tied onto a wrist. There are also designer rakhis that are crafted using an ornamental pendant or sparkling stones. 

This ritual of tying the rakhi bracelet is preceded by the sister pressing wet powdered red turmeric (tilak), followed by a few grains of unbroken & uncooked rice into a fresh dot on her brother’s forehead. (Rice is widely considered to be one of the purest grains.) This sequence of actions is religiously and spiritually believed to impart positive energy to the ritual.

All of these elements – the wet turmeric powder, rice, sweets, rakhis – are usually thoughtfully and decoratively arranged on a sturdy metal platter (thali). You might even see some marigold flowers added for decoration, which represent the Sun, symbolising brightness, and yes, positive energy.

Rakhi Thali


This thali presentation often includes a small sacred flame in an equally small brass container (devo) that is lit in honor of the Hindu god, Agni

On their part, brothers promise to protect and honor their sister. As a token of their love and appreciation for everything she does, they gift her with jewellery, money, chocolate, clothes or other rakhi gift hampers.

In this day and age of organic and eco-friendly gifting options, more and more siblings are turning towards local, handmade and handcrafted décor items such as planters, clay serving bowls and more.