Around mid-August, on Shravan Purnima (the full moon day), Hindus all over celebrate Raksha Bandhan. "Raksha" means protection, "bandhan" means bound or binding. This frail of thread of Rakhi is considered as stronger than iron chains as it binds the most beautiful relationship in an inseparable bond of love and trust. The festival is also known as Balev.
Raksha Bandhan is an occasion to celebrate the sacred bond of love and affection between siblings with lots of verve.
In order to protect the good people, Lord Krishna killed the evil King Shishupal. Krishna was hurt during the war and left with bleeding finger. Seeing this, Draupathi had torn a strip of cloth from her sari and tied around his wrist to stop the bleeding.
Lord Krishna, realizing her affections and concern about him, declared himself bounded by her sisterly love. He promised her to repay this debt whenever she need in future. Many years later, when pandavas lost Draupathi in the game of dice and Kauravas were removing her saari, Krishna helped her divinely elongating the saari so that they could not remove it.
On the day of Rakhi Festival, the sister ties Rakhi on the wrist of her brother and both make prayer to God for the well being of each other. Sisters perform 'aarti' and put tilak on the forehead of her brother.
The brother in turn acknowledges the love with a promise to be by the sisters' side through thick and thin and gives her a token gift.
The entire country celebrates this festival with much fun though in different forms. In North India, Raksha Bandhan festival is celebrated as Rakhi Purnima while in West India, it is celebrated as Nariyali Purnima. In south, it is known as Avani Avittam. Though the names and the celebrations of Raksha Bandhan are different, the customs are of various kinds but the essence of the festival remains the same.