The Raksabandhan festival, which takes place on the full Moon of the lunar month of Shravana (July–August), is one of the most popular in India. On this day sisters tie an amulet of red or yellow threads on their brother’s wrists to guard them for the year. If they are more learned, they may utter a well-known SANSKRIT MANTRA. The brothers then offer them presents. The observance is said to have originated after INDRA, king of the gods, was defeated in battle by the asuras, or antigods. It is said that he was able to regain his sovereignty when his wife, Shaci, put an amulet on his hand after performing some austerities.
   Further reading: Stanley A. Freed and Ruth S. Freed, Hindu Festivals in a North Indian Village, (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1998); C. J. Fuller, The Camphor Flame: Popular Hinduism and Society in India (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1992); Anita Ganeri, Hindu Festivals throughout the Year (Mankato, Minn.: Smart Apple Media, 2003).

Encyclopedia of Hinduism. . 2007.

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