NEW DELHI, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- India Monday celebrated the Hindu festival of Raksha Bandhan -- meaning the tie or knot of protection.
Millions of women across the country tied rakhis (sacred thread) on the wrists of their brothers' wrists with a prayer for their prosperity and happiness on the auspicious day. This symbolizes the sisters' love.
While a woman ties rakhi, her brother gives her a token gift, pledges to protect her against all adversities in life and showers her with blessings.
In fact, the festival, popularly known as Rakhi, means "bond of protection," and is observed on the full moon day of the Hindu luni-solar calendar month of Shravana, which usually falls in Gregorian calendar month of August.
The festival celebrates the love and duty between brothers and sisters, who may or may not be biologically related.
"I observe this day every year for my younger brother whom I love the most. He also gives me a lovely gift from the money he saves from his pocket expense. This enriches our bonding too," said Minu Singh, a student of Delhi University.
Indian President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi also greeted the country on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan.
"Warm greetings and good wishes to all fellow citizens on the auspicious occasion of Raksha Bandhan. The unique festival of Raksha Bandhan celebrates the sacred bond of commitment between sisters and brothers," President Kovind tweeted.
"May Raksha Bandhan, symbolising the virtues of love, affection & mutual trust, bring happiness & prosperity to all," he added.
The Prime Minister also tweeted: "Greetings on Raksha Bandhan."
Raksha Bandhan is an ancient festival of the subcontinent, and its history dates back thousands of years.
"It's a festival which all of India celebrates," said religious expert Surnath Bose.