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Raksha Bandhan

Raksha Bandhan in 2010 is on Tuesday, the 24th of August.

The word Raksha Bandhan which literally means the bond of protection in hindi, is a festival celebrated by the Hindus and Sikhs in India.This festival celebrates the relationship between brothers and sisters. It usually falls in the month of august and is celebrated on the full moon day in the month of Shraavana according to the Hindu calendar.

The sister marks the festival by tying rakhi, which is considered a holy thread, on the wrist of her brother. The brother in return takes vows to protect her sister and look after her . He also offers a gift to his sister.After the tying of the Rakhi, brother and sister,traditionally, feed each other sweets. The festival is still celebrated in much of the same manner and the brother and sister have to treat each other well for the day.

The bond of rakhi is not necessary with the biological brother but also extend to any male who is adopted as a `brother`. Indian history has many instances where a women asks for protection, through rakhi, from men who were neither their brothers, and in some cases nor Hindus themselves. A famous story is that of Rani Karnavati of Chittor when she sent a rakhi to the Mughal Emperor Humayun to protect her from the threats of Bahadur Shah of Mewar. Humayun responded by abandoning an ongoing military campaign to ride to her rescue.

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Amisha Patel
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