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Raksha Bandhan is a day for brothers and sisters to reaffirm their bonds of affection. It is observed by the Hindus in northern India and by both Hindus and Buddhists in Nepal, where members of both religions often celebrate in each other's temples. Sisters tie colorful threads or amulets (see RAKHI ) on their brothers' wrists and put dots of vermilion paste on their brothers' foreheads while praying for them to live a long life. Brothers, in turn, give their sisters gifts-usually a piece of jewelry or clothing, or perhaps some money-while promising to protect them throughout their lives. In families where there are only boys or only girls, a friend or relative is asked to act as a brother or sister during the festival.