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Unraveling the Historical Significance of Celebrating Rakhi in India

by Team Techager
Unraveling the Historical Significance of Celebrating Rakhi in India

Rakhi, also known as Raksha Bandhan, is a sacred and time-honored festival celebrated in India, which holds deep historical significance. Imbued with the profundity of age-old customs and mythos, Raksha Bandhan venerates the enduring thread of affection and safeguarding shared between siblings. When is rakhi? This heartfelt observance aligns with the full moon’s brilliance during the Hindu month of Shravan. For the year 2023, the commemoration of Raksha Bandhan will find its place on the calendar on the 30th day of August.

1. The Ancient Origins of Rakhi:

The origins of Rakhi can be traced back to various ancient legends and historical events. One such tale dates back to the era of Alexander the Great’s invasion of India. It is said that when Alexander’s wife, Roxana, heard of the wrath of Indian king Porus, she sent a sacred thread to him, urging him not to harm her husband. Touched by this gesture, Porus promised to protect Alexander’s family in return for her kind gesture, thus showcasing the essence of Rakhi.

2. Rakhi in Mythology:

An additional story that casts light upon the illustrious resonance of Raksha Bandhan originates from the intriguing dynamics between Lord Krishna and Draupadi, forming yet another leaf in the tapestry of Rakhi’s storied past. During the epic Mahabharata, Draupadi tied a piece of cloth torn from her saree around Lord Krishna’s wounded finger. In return, Lord Krishna vowed to protect her and stood by her side during her difficult times. This incident exemplifies the deep bond of love and protection between siblings, which is the essence of Rakhi.

3. Rakhi as a Symbol of Protection:

Rakhi is not merely a thread or a piece of ornament; it symbolizes the sacred bond between a brother and sister. By tying the Rakhi on her brother’s wrist, a sister seeks his protection and blessings. In return, the brother pledges to safeguard her and be there for her in times of need. This profound gesture is a symbol of trust, love, and mutual respect between siblings.

4. Rakhi Celebrations Across India:

The historical significance of Rakhi has led to its widespread celebration across different regions of India. Each state and community adds its unique cultural flair to the festival. In the state of West Bengal, Rakhi is celebrated as “Jhulan Purnima,” where sisters tie Rakhi on the wrists of their brothers and pray for their well-being. In Gujarat, the festival coincides with the harvest season, and it is known as “Pavitropana.” In Rajasthan, sisters tie Rakhi on the wrists of their brothers and also on the wrists of the camels used in the region.

5. Rakhi in the Mughal Era:

The historical significance of Rakhi is not limited to Hindu mythology but extends to the Mughal era as well. During this period, the festival symbolized peaceful coexistence and brotherhood between Hindus and Muslims. The great Mughal emperor Akbar practiced this custom by tying Rakhi to his Hindu courtiers, signifying a bond of protection and harmony.

6. Rakhi in the Context of Freedom Struggle:

Rakhi has also played a role in India’s freedom struggle against British colonial rule. During the struggle for independence, Rakhi was embraced as a symbol of unity and solidarity among the freedom fighters. Prominent leaders encouraged the celebration of Rakhi to foster a sense of patriotism and brotherhood in the fight against foreign oppression.

7. Rakhi: An Emblem of Gender Equality:

Rakhi is not limited to celebrating the bond between blood siblings; it also signifies brotherhood and equality. Women tie Rakhi on the wrists of men who are not their biological brothers, signifying a bond of protection and respect. This practice exemplifies the concept of gender equality and the celebration of human relationships beyond biological ties.

8. Rakhi in Modern Times:

Over the years, Rakhi celebrations have evolved, adapting to the changing times and technological advancements. In today’s digital era, the tradition of Rakhi has expanded to send Rakhi online to siblings who are far away. Online platforms and e-commerce websites offer a wide range of Rakhis and gifts, facilitating virtual celebrations for those separated by distance.

9. Embracing Rakhi’s Timeless Legacy:

Despite the evolution of customs and technology, the core essence of Rakhi remains unchanged. It continues to be a festival that celebrates love, protection, and the unbreakable bond between siblings. Rakhi teaches us the values of selflessness, trust, and the importance of nurturing familial ties.


Rakhi in India is not merely a festival but a reflection of the nation’s rich historical and cultural heritage. The festival’s deep-rooted significance can be traced back to ancient legends, mythology, and historical events. As we annually partake in the celebration of Raksha Bandhan, let us treasure and sustain the ageless heritage of this event. This festival, in its essence, reflects the perennial thread of affection and guardianship intertwined in the relationship between siblings. Whether celebrating together or sending Rakhi online, let the spirit of Rakhi continue to strengthen familial ties and promote harmony and unity. Happy Rakhi to all brothers and sisters in India!

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