While Raksha Bhandan is celebrated as an auspicious festival marking the bond between brothers and sisters across India, in a village in the state of Uttar Pradesh, residents shudder at its mention.
The Raksha Bhandan ceremony requires sisters to tie a talisman or holy thread, called the rakhi or raksha, around the wrists of their brothers, who are supposed to protect them. This year the occasion was celebrated on August 3.
However, in the Bhikhampur Jagat Purwa village, residents believe that if Raksha Bandhan is celebrated, unfortunate events will occur.
Sisters across the village have not tied a ‘rakhi’ on their brothers’ wrists for years, according to local media reports.
“Whenever sisters tied a thread on their brothers’ wrists in our houses, untoward incidents occurred in this village,” a resident was quoted as saying by Indian media outlets.
Another resident, Suryanarayan Mishra said: “In 1955, after eight years of Independence, a young man was killed one fine morning of Raksha Bandhan in our family. Since then, sisters in the village do not tie a rakhi on their brothers’ wrists.
“A decade ago, on the day of Raksha Bandhan, it was decided to tie rakhi on the request of the sisters, but something untoward happened that day, too. After this, no one dared celebrate rakhi. Even today, this fear prevents the sisters from tying rakhis on their brothers’ wrist.”
Villagers believe that if a child is born on Raksha Bhandan day, the 'curse' will be lifted.
Suryanarayan added: “On the day of Raksha Bandhan, if a child is born in the family, then only the festival will be celebrated. The wait has been going on for almost three generations. This opportunity has not come yet.”
According to local media reports, villagers even try not to come out of their houses on the day Raksha Bandhan is celebrated.