The bond between a brother and sister is ineffable. In Northern and Western India, this relationship is considered sacred and is celebrated on the full moon day of the Hindu calendar, which typically falls in the month of August. Known as Raksha Bandhan in Sanskrit, this term translates literally to ‘the bond of protection, obligation or care’ and acknowledges the bond between brothers & sisters.
On this day, sisters tie a talisman known as a rakhi on their brothers’ wrists, symbolizing their brothers’ duty to protect them, while sisters pray for their brothers’ wellbeing, health and prosperity. In return for their prayers, brothers give their sisters gifts.
While Raksha Bandhan is predominantly celebrated among Hindus, Jains and Sikhs also celebrate this festival. Raksha Bandhan is not limited to biological relationships – it crosses caste and religious lines to incorporate relationships that are not of kin.
Protection, honor, love, good health, happiness, wealth and sacrifice are words that are used to describe this festival, with the basic sentiment of Raksha Bandhan being the maintenance of valued relationships. So this Raksha Bandhan, let us honor the bonds of humanity, regardless of caste and religion, by showing the children of Akshaya Patra your love, commitment and obligation to better their lives by giving them the gift of an education through the power of an Akshaya Patra meal.
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