Religious Studies KS2: Celebrating Raksha Bandan

14 year old Simran and her 11 year old brother Vraj tell us about the annual Hindu festival of Raksha Bandan, which celebrates the love between brothers and sisters.

Raksha means “love” and Bandan means “tie”. We see Simran shopping for a rakhi, or string bracelet, which sisters give to their brothers on this day.

He will wear it all year, and it symbolises that brothers should protect their sisters.

Even though Vraj and Simran often fight, it is a day when they try to get on and do things together.

Raksha Bandan is also a day to dress up in traditional clothes, and remember an ancient story from the Hindu scriptures.

The god Vishnu had gone to live with King Bali, and Vishnu’s wife Lakshmi missed him.

She visited King Bali and tied a rakhi to him, and the king asked her what she would like in return.

She asked for him to let her husband come home.

The story shows the generosity of the king, and the festival encourages Hindus to be generous.

We see the ceremony where Simran ties on Vraj’s rakhi. She puts a tilak – a red coloured mark - on Vraj’s forehead.

She prays for him, asking god to keep him happy and healthy in the year ahead.

She feeds Vraj a sweet, and because Vraj is younger than her he touches her feet.

He also gives her a gift of nail varnish. If you don’t have a brother, you can give a rakhi to a cousin or a friend.

This is from the series: My Life, My Religion - Hinduism

Teacher Notes

The festival is supposed to have four characteristics: it is about family love, fun, generosity and remembering.

After watching the clip pupils could say what they noticed about each of these four characteristics from the clip.

In small groups pupils could design and make four different rakhis – each group could get a bag containing some tinsel, glitter, glue, card, masking tape, colours etc.

Their four designs could reflect one of the values of the festival: family, love, fun, generosity, remembering.

Arrange a display of the results for a younger class to come and hear about the work from your pupils.

Curriculum Notes

These clips will be relevant for teaching Religious Education at KS2 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and First and Second Level in Scotland.

Diwali - the festival of light
Inside a Hindu Temple
A Pilgrimage in Hinduism
Meeting two young British Hindus
The Cycle of Birth and Rebirth
Celebrating the festival of Holi
A Hindu wedding ceremony