The Rakhi festival, which is also known as Raksha Bandhan, celebrates the sweet relationship between a brother and his sister.
The festival brings with itself lots of emotions like trust, love and commitment, which are exchanged among siblings.
Interestingly, the festival is celebrated by multiple religious communities like Hindus, Sikhs, and Muslims all over the world.
The rakhi ceremony involves the tying of a rakhi by a sister on her brother's wrist that symbolises her love and prayer for her brother's good health and prosperity. On the other hand, the brother takes the lifelong vow to protect her.
Shopping rushes are widely witnessed as brothers strive hard to bring the best of gifts for their sisters.
Sweets are a must on this day, as the custom is celebrated with sweets and other savouries.
On the eve of Raksha Bandhan, Indian President Pranab Mukherjee greeted the country.
In his message, Mukherjee said: "On the auspicious occasion of Raksha Bandhan, I extend my warm greetings and felicitations to all fellow citizens."
"The festival of Raksha Bandhan symbolizes the sacred bond of love, trust and commitment between sisters and brothers. It is an occasion for us to dedicate ourselves to the well-being of women and in particular, the girl child," he said.
Mukherjee said Indian women should be provided a safe and congenial environment.
"Women should be provided a safe, secure and congenial environment in which their talents can flower and they can contribute their full share in the building of our nation. Traditional cultural values of respect for women need to be fully entrenched in our minds," he said.
"May this unique festival inculcate in every member of our society the highest respect for women, as we strive collectively for the prosperity of our people," Mukherjee said.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also greeted the nation on Raksha Bandhan saying this is "An occasion to strengthen the bonds of love and affection within our family and in society."
"It is also an occasion to re-commit ourselves to ensuring the safety and security of women."
Celebrities, politicians and eminent personalities also joined the mood of celebration by posting their messages on micro-blogging site Twitter.
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi wished the nation on this festival by tweeting: "Happy Rakshabandhan! This festival celebrates the everlasting bond between a sister and brother and epitomizes social harmony and Rashtra Shakti."
Actor Amitabh Bachchan in his message said: "Happy Raksha Bandhan to all ... may this auspicious bond between brothers and sisters remain eternal .. love .. happiness."
Bollywood superhero Hrithik Roshan tweeted: "Happy Raksha bandhan my sisters and brothers... Love, cuddle, spoil and have pure FUN today like only we brothers can make r (our) sisters have !"
Writer Taslima Nasreen in her wish said: "Happy Raksha Bandhan today. Brothers should fast and pray for sisters' good health and long life.Sisters should promise to protect brothers."
Trade Analyst Taran Adarsh tweeted: "Happy Raksha Bandhan."
Actress Priyanka Chopra wished her brother via Twitter saying: "Happy Rakhi my darling bro.. Now the man of the house..love u..miss u dad.."
Actor Abhishek Bachchan tweeted: "Happy Rakshabandhan! Brothers, promise to love, respect protect your sisters. Sisters, continue spoiling us brothers."
Writer Chetan Bhagatin his message said: "Happy Rakhi. Guys, stay away from the girls hostel today. Like really."
Actress Sophie Choudry said: "Meanwhile happy Raksha Bandhan! My bhaiya (brother) and I r (are) complete opposites! He's older (not wiser..haha) but luv (love) him to bits! God bless him always!x"
Actor Shreyas Talpade tweeted: "Beheno (sisters) - Happy Raksha Bandan. God bless u with lots of love, happiness, success and strength."
Singer Shaan said: "Happy Raksha Bandhan to all Brothers and Sisters:)) Got my Rakhi tied last night.. jhalak shoot today.. "
Fashion designer Manish Malhotra tweeted: "Happy Rakshabandhan :-)"
--IBNS (Posted on 20-08-2013)