Bhai Dooj also known as Bhai Beej, Bhau Beej, BhaiPhonta, and Bhai Tika is an annual Hindu festival that celebrates the bond of siblings.
This day occurs on the last day of the 5-day long Deepawali celebration. The festival has a similar celebration and rituals to the celebration of Raksha Bandhan. On this day, women and girls pray for the longevity of their brother’s life. In return, brothers present them a gift and pledge to protect them from all kind of harms.
In the northern portion of the country, people celebrate the day with great zeal and the southern portion of the country celebrates the day in the form of Yama Dwitiya.
The celebration of Bhai Dooj takes place on Kartika Shukla, Dwitiya which is the second lunar day of Shukla Paksha in the month of Kartika. In general, the festival falls in the month of October or November in accordance with the Gregorian calendar.
Scrumptious sweets and meals are an integral part of the festival. On the occasion of Bhai Dooj, sisters cook delicious food for their brothers.
On Bhai Dooj, sisters remember brothers as Gods. They sing devotional songs to honor their brothers.
The prayer involves chanting “you truly are my mother and you truly are my father, you truly are my relative and you truly are my friend, you truly are my knowledge and you truly are my wealth, you truly are my all, my god of gods.”
The festival of Bhai Dooj holds great importance in the life of people across the country. It is a day to symbolize the beautiful relationship of a sister and brother and celebrate their eternal love.
The day is celebrated in almost every state of India with numerous different names and in uncountable rituals. It is an auspicious day, a woman prays to the Gods to bless their brothers with a happy and healthy life and to protect them from all the harms.
On this day, sisters and brothers reunite to honor their relationship. This day specifies the fondness of siblings towards each other.
Behind every Hindu festival, there is a story that teaches us a lesson about positivity, fondness, and goodness. The history behind the celebration of Bhai Dooj involves one such story that tells us about the value of eternal goodness.
In the mythological tales, on the second day after the new moon, Lord Yama visits her sister Yami. She becomes very happy to receive her brother on her doorsteps and welcomes Lord Yama with tilak and aarti. This overwhelmsLord Yama and it return of his sister’s love and gesture he presents her with adorable gifts. Also, he promises that he, who would visit his sister on Sukla Paksha in the Kartik month, should not fear death.
In another mythological tales behind the celebration, Lord Krishna wishes to meet his sister Subhadra after slaying Narakasur. Lord Krishna goes to visit his sister and she welcomes him with a traditional manner. She showers her love and put tilak on his forehead to congratulate him on his remarkable victory over evil.
In India, people from different regions celebrate the festival of Bhai Dooj in numerous different rituals.
The occasion observes a traditional celebration in which brothers visit their sisters. In the ritual, sisters make a seat for their brothers with flour of rice. Sisters make a paste of Vermillion, curd, and rice to apply as tika on the forehead of their brother. This is an essential part of the entire ceremony.
Following this, sisters offer Kaddu, betel leaves, betel nuts and coins in the palms of their brothers. Also, sisters slowly chant holy mantras and pour water on the palms. The holy mantras are chanted to worship the Lord Yama. In the entire rituals, sisters pray to Lord Yama and ask for the healthy life of their brothers.
Kalawa (the holy red & yellow thread) has a significant value in the heart of Hindu devotees. Later, sisters perform aarti and tie kalawa on the hand of their brothers.
Sisters lit a Diya which faces the south direction and see a flying kite in the sky to fulfill her wishes. At the end of the rituals, brothers receive sweets from their sisters and them present sisters Bhai Dooj gift.
The custom of the festival concludes by touching feet of elders of the family and taking blessings for a hale and hearty life.
This day has a special recognition for foods and sweets. Here are a few suggestions that you must consider the festival.
The Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Jharkhand celebrate the festival of Bhai Doojwith great enthusiasm.
In the state of West Bengal the celebration of Bhai Doojholds prominent importance for people. The festival here has recognition as Bhai Phonta. In Maharashtra, people know the festival with the name of BhaiBheej.
There is a different understanding that siblings share with each other. From being best friends to fighting for a bigger piece of foodstuff, they have an eternal bond of fondness.
They share secret and often tell the important parts of the secret to parents in order to have fun. However, having a sibling means having an ultimate protector and admirer.
One hasn’t decoded the definition of their unique relationship. Nonetheless, no one ever questions their love for each other. They offer strength to each other and stand side-by-side in difficult situations.
It is no such day when they love less or more. However, on the day of Bhai Dooj, they commemorate their bond together. It is a special occasion for both of them.
On this day, sisters pray for their brother’s long and healthy life and in return brothers pledge to be available for them whenever they need.
The festival of Bhai Dooj falls on Wednesday, 26 October.
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