Bradford South Asian Heritage month concludes with festival of Raksha Bandhan celebration

Credit: Bradford SAHM

Bradford South Asian Heritage month comes to an end this weekend with a call to communities to celebrate the Hindu and Sikh festival of Raksha Bandhan.

The festival is about the importance of sibling bonds and protecting each other and is traditionally symbolised by women tying beaded decorative threads called "rakhee" on male relatives wrists.

People in the city are being encouraged to join the Sikh and Hindu communities in celebrating the unity across communities and to pay tribute to Covid 19 frontline workers.

Bracelets are tied onto male relatives wrists as part of the festival. Credit: Bradford SAHM

Kajal Patel, from the Bradford Hindu Sevika Samiti, said: The Hindu tradition values the idea of ‘the whole world is one family’.

"Many know Raksha Bandhan as the festival where sisters tie ‘raakhees’ as a symbol of protection but Raksha Bandhan is so much more than that.

"The word itself means the bond of protection – but protection not only in reference to our immediate siblings but to everyone who serves, nurtures and cares for us.

"The festival reminds us of the need to care for one another. And during these unprecedented times, the value of community spirit has proved to be necessary more than ever."

It is the second year that the festival has been held, with various events celebrating South Asian Heritage over the last month.

The purpose of the month is to reach out to people from across all communities in Bradford and bring people closer together.