One of the widely celebrated festivals by most Hindus and Jains and some Sikhs and Muslims, Raksha Bandhan or Rakhi is primarily an Indian festival. The history of Raksha Bandhan goes back to ancient times with the celebration of the bond of brothers and sisters continuing till today. This festival stands as the day of expression of the sibling like, affectionate-protecting relationship between men and women who might or might not be biologically related. Rakhi in the present time is celebrated across nations majorly including India, Mauritius, Nepal and Pakistan along with the countries having people from Indian origin.
Associated with several myths and legends, Raksha Bandhan is observed by the sister tying beautifully made sacred threads or rakhis on her brother's wrist as an emblem of her trust, warmth and prayers of well-being of her brother. The brother in return vows to protect his sister and blesses his sister with gifts. The exchange of sweets also takes place with the people involved in festivity dressed in traditional apparels.
The sacred festival of Raksha Bandhan falls on Shravan Poornima (full moon day) of the Hindu month of Shravan as per their lunisolar calendar or August of the Gregorian calendar and is known by various names all over India.
Rakhi Purnima is celebrated on the Full moon day of the Hindu month Shravan (august). The Rakhi Purnima is extremely significant primarily because it is celebrated differently throughout the country. The reasons may be different, the names altered, the rituals, deviant but one thing that does not change is the prayer and pledge for protection 'Raksha'.
Avani Avittam or Upakramam is celebrated in South India on the full moon day of Shravan (August), which is also the day of the Rakhi Purnima. It is a ritual that is followed by the Brahmins in the southern states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Orissa and parts of Maharashtra.
Kajari Navami is celebrated in Central India particularly in Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh and parts of Uttar Pradesh. This festival is extremely significant for the farmers as it signifies the beginning of the season for sowing barley and wheat and is thus considered extremely propitious.
This festival is celebrated all over India by the people for whom the sea is a means of living, particularly the fishermen. Bu virtue of this, the festival is primarily celebrated on the Western Coast, as India's fish trade is concentrated in that area. It is very popular in Mumbai, where the Kolis, the fishing tribe celebrates the festival with much gusto.
In Gujarat, the Raksha Bandhan (bond of protection) extends to God as well. Pavitropana is celebrated with much gaiety in Gujarat and it involves, amongst other things, tying of the sacred thread around the Shivalinga, the phallic symbol of the Hindu God Shiva (destroyer of all evil).