STORY: Women and children tied sacred threads or ‘rakhis’ to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday (August 07) to celebrate ‘Raksha Bandhan’ or the sibling festival.
Rakhi is the symbolic holy thread which a sister ties ceremoniously on the wrist of her brother as a mark of the revered bondage between them.
‘Raksha Bandhan’ occupies a special place in the Hindu religious calendar. The festival is celebrated with fervour and gaiety among people from different communities.
The prime minister met widows from northern Vrindavan town at his official residence in New Delhi, who tied rakhis on his wrist.
Every year widows living in ‘ashrams’ (old age homes) of Vrindavan visit Modi’s official residence to tie the sacred thread to him.
A widow, Kamal expressed her happiness after the meeting Modi for the first time in her life.
Schoolchildren in capital New Delhi also tied ‘rakhis’ to newly-elected Indian President Ram Nath Kovind and his wife, Savita Kovind.
Meanwhile, scores of women tied the sacred threads to soldiers of paramilitary Border Security Force (BSF) posted at the Wagah-Attari border in northern Punjab state.
The BSF personnel participated enthusiastically in the rituals and showered their blessings to the little girls and young women who tied rakhis on their wrist.
In northeastern Shillong district, several women celebrated the festival by tying sacred threads to the soldiers at the Indo-Bangladesh border.
Raksha Bandhan symbolises the strong bond between the brothers and sisters and the love and affection shared between them.
On their part, the brother pledges to protect his sisters’ honour and gifts her as a token of the bonding
The festival is celebrated on the full moon day of the Hindu month of ‘Shravan’.