Tomorrow is a special day. A day to show your siblings you care and love them, and will always be there for them..

Festivals have always held a prominent place in Indian households. So will it be any less tomorrow? Raksha Bandhan — primarily a Hindu festival — celebrates the special relationship that siblings share. This day is unique because it is a time of bonding between siblings where they pledge their love and affection and always promise to be a constant source of support and comfort.

Sisters pray for their brothers’ wellbeing and long life and brothers in turn promise to take care of them and always be there for them.

On the day of the festival the family prays together and then the sister lights a lamp.

After the prayers, the sister ties a sacred thread or Rakhi on her brother’s wrist. Sweets are distributed and brothers pamper their sisters with gifts. Brothers promise to take care of their sisters and be there for them.

Regional significance

In other parts of India

Nariyal Purnima: Nariyal means coconut and since this festival falls on a full moon day it is symbolically called Nariyal Purnima along the Konkan coast. Rakshabandhan here is a celebration for all those who depend on the sea for their livelihood.

Kajari Purnima: Shravani or Kajari Purnima in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Bihar is celebrated on the same day as Rakhi. It marks an important day for farmers as a fresh season of sowing begins.

Pavitropana: Gujarat celebrates this festival and people pray to Shiva to wash away their sins.

Bhau Beej: Celebrated in Maharashtra and Gujarat, it falls a day after Diwali and though no sacred thread is tied the rest of the festivities remain the same.

Bhai Dooj: In Bihar it is celebrated on the last day of Diwali. The sister first curses her brother/ brothers and then pricks her own tongue as a punishment for cursing and then asks for forgiveness. They, in turn, forgive her and pray for her welfare.

Bahi Phota: Another variation of Raksha Bandhan this festival is celebrated with much enthusiasm in Bengal on the second day of Kali Pooja. A tilak made of ghee, sandalwood paste and kaajal is put on the brother’s forehead and an arati is also performed. The elder brother and sister then give rice and durba (a type of grass) to their younger ones as a symbolic gesture for plentiful harvest and longevity.

Ningol Chakuba: Celebrated in Manipur, this festival is also celebrated between the siblings.

Avani Avittam: An important day for Brahmins it is called Upakarmam in Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and parts of Orissa. The holy or sacred thread which the men wear is changed on this day.

Karthikai Deepam: Falling a few days after Diwali, this festival is observed in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh to celebrate the bond between brothers and sisters. Sisters in the household light lamps to mark this occasion.