Raksha Bandhan is the Hindu festival that celebrates the love and loyalty between siblings. “Raksha” means protection, and “Bandhan” is the verb to tie.
As part of the tradition, a sister ties a rakhi (a bracelet made of threads) around her brother’s wrist. This bracelet is the symbol of a promise that expresses he’ll be there to protect her. After the rakhi is tied, sweets and gifts are exchanged as a thank you for the prayers and blessings.
See that picture above - that’s baby me. I was trying to tie a gigantic plastic floral bracelet on my brother. My mom had collections of those tacky bracelets for me to give to my brother every year on Rakhi Day. As we got older, he wasn’t a fan of wearing flowers on his wrists, and I felt bad making him wear them. So, I went on a hunt to find more simple rakhis for him, but I couldn’t find modern options in the US. Instead, I resorted to tying a piece of yarn or string from Joann’s or Michael’s on his wrist. After moving across the country from each other, Rakhi day has become even more special to me because I want to always let him know that I’m there for him - no matter the distance.
Many of us don’t live near an Indian store, but we want to celebrate Raksha Bandhan thoughtfully. I personally know how hard it is to find a simple and modern rakhi, along with a meaningful way to express your love for your bro - especially when you're not physically near one another.
Below is a list of aggregated Rakhi gift ideas that will allow us to continue this tradition, but in a modern and fun way:
This Rakhi collection has been curated by the Chai Mommas themselves with all the best vibes. The Chai Mommas are supporting kids in India in Manav Sadhna's Earn N Learn program, who made their Love + Light rakhis and cards. These cards and rakhis that this year will also help kids right here in the US with proceeds going to Embrace Race, a non profit dedicated to bringing race education into classrooms across America.
Teal Firefly is offering handmade rakhis for both adults and kids. Adult rakhis include rudraraksha and semi-precious beads to spread positive vibes…simple, but stylish. Kids rakhis include celestial and sports!
Find cute Rakhi day cards along with incredibly unique rakhis handwoven by women artisans in Khetikhan, a village in Uttarakhand, India, and supported by Himalayan Blooms - a non-profit working to empower women in rural Himalayan villages.