President Pratibha Patil and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh greeted the nation on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan on Tuesday, saying the festival celebrating the love between a brother and a sister should strengthen the "fraternal feelings and oneness among people".
In her message, Patil said: "Raksha Bandhan is a unique festival of love, affection and trust between sisters and brothers.
"May this festival strengthen the spirit of kindness and goodwill and spread the message of fraternal feelings and oneness among our people. On this auspicious occasion of Raksha Bandhan, I extend my greetings and good wishes to all my people in India and abroad".
In his message to the country as well as to Indians living abroad, Manmohan Singh said: "The festival is a special occasion to celebrate the bond of love between a brother and sister. It also marks a re-affirmation of traditional family values."
Celebrated on the full moon of the Hindu month of Shravana, Raksha Bandhan or Rakhi falls on Tuesday this year.
On the day, sisters tie decorative threads on their brother's wrist, symbolic of their love, and the brothers in return give them gifts and vow to protect them.