Festivals- Raksha Bandhan
Raksha Bandhan is the Hindu festival that celebrates brotherhood and love.
It is celebrated on the full moon in the month of Sravana in the lunar calendar.
The word Raksha means protection, whilst Bandhan is the verb to tie. Traditionally, during the festival sisters tie a rakhi, a bracelet made of interwoven red and gold threads, around their brothers' wrists to celebrate their relationship.
It is believed that when a woman ties a rakhi around the hand of a man it becomes obligatory for him to honour his religious duty and protect her.
Traditional stories state that rakhis are blessed with sacred verses and are encompassed by them.
Sometimes rakhis are consecrated in rice and grass before they are given, and are traditionally tied by people familiar with the Vedas.
Following these customs the rakhi is believed to remove sin from one hand and provide safety to the other. The protection offered by a rakhi is believed to remain for a year.
As the rakhi is tied, a prayer is offered asking for happiness and prosperity.
Once the rakhi has been tied a mantra is chanted either in Sanskrit or Punjabi.
At the end of the ceremony the sister places a sweet in her mouth. Following this her brother gives her a small monetary gift of appreciation