Meaning - The name 'Raksha Bandhan' suggests 'a bond of protection'. "Raksha" means protection, and "bandhan" means bound or binding. On this auspicious day, brothers make a promise to their sisters to protect them from all harms and troubles and the sisters pray to God to protect their brother from all evil. The festival falls on the Shravan Purnima which comes generally in the month of August. On the occasion of Rakshaa Bandha , Sisters visits her brother's home and performs his 'pujan' by applying kumkum and rice grains on his forehead, tie the silk thread called Rakhi on their wrist and pray for their well being and brothers in return gives her a gift and vows to protect her too.
Significance - Raksha Bandhan is now considered as a day to celebrate the sacred relation of a brother and a sister. Yet there have been examples in history where in rakhi has just been a raksha or protection. It could be tied by wife, a daughter or mother. The Rishis tied rakhi to the people who came seeking their blessings. The sages tied the sacred thread to themselves to safe guard them from the evil.
Previously, Rakhi festival encompasses the warmth shared between the siblings but now it goes way beyond it. Rakhi Utsav was first popularized by Rabindranath Tagore to promote the feeling of unity and a commitment to all members of society to protect each other and encourage a harmonious Social life.
Another significant and important part of the Rakhi-tying ceremony is the Aarti ritual. This is done with a view to draw the blessings of God upon her brother. The following mantra (in Sanskrit) conveys the whole significance of Raksha Bandhan.
"Yena baddho Balee raajaa daanavendro mahaabalah
tena twaam anubadhnaami rakshe maa chala maa chala"
It says," I tie you the Rakhi, that was tied to king Bali, the king of Demons, O Rakhi I pray that you never waver in protecting your devotee.
In today's scenario, the day has a different perspective. The occasion involves a pledge of life-time practice of moral, cultural and spiritual values. The ritual of Rakhi tying has become so important that come what may, brothers and sisters try to visit each other place on this particular day in order to bring back the oneness of the family, binding the family together in an emotional bond of love.