According to online marketplace Flipkart, which offered a wide range of rakhis for customers to browse and shop from, the demand for contemporary rakhis has been higher as compared to traditional styles this year.

The festival, which falls on Saturday, celebrates the bond between brothers and sisters. The sister ties a thread on her brother's wrist in exchange of gifts and token of love, but largely for a promise that he will always take care of her.

Earlier, rakhis were mere simple threads, but now the markets are full of strings with multi-coloured stones, ornate embellishments and motifs, and in zari, zardosi and floral  varieties. jewelery stores even sell pure gold, silver and diamond studded rakhis for those who can afford it.

A worker at a Hallmark gift store at a mall in Noida, said that this year, "customers are not going for gaudy rakhis or stone studded ones, but the simpler, toned down rakhis are selling a lot".

A new offering is the 'Bhaiya-Bhabhi' set, which includes a rakhi for the brother and a lumba rakhi for the sister in law. Online shopping sites are also catering to the demands of customers with a wide variety. The men too prefer simple rakhis. For the children, there are ample options of their favorite cartoon characters adorning the threads. Some threads even have musical options.


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