India is the second most populated country in the world. It has a population of 136 crores. With these many people living here comes diversity. People of different religions and cultures live in India. Numerous festivals are celebrated throughout the year. India is famous for its diverseness. All the festivals are celebrated with enthusiasm and grandeur.
The main religion followed in India is Hinduism. There are numerous festivals which are celebrated. One of the festivals is Bhai Dooj. It is celebrated twice a year. It is celebrated during Diwali and Holi. It is celebrated across the whole country.
Introduction of Bhai Dooj
Bhai Dooj, which is also called Bhai Tika, Bhaubeej, Bhai Phonta, is celebrated on the second day of Shukla Paksha in the month of Kartika according to the Hindu calendar. It is known as Yama Dwitiya in South India. It is celebrated during Diwali and Holi festivals. The celebration of Bhai Dooj is quite similar to the celebration of Raksha Bandhan. As the name suggests, the festival is celebrated mainly between brother and sister. Sisters wish for the long life of their brother, and Brother promises to protect their sister. Exchange of gifts also takes place.
History of Bhai Dooj
There are numerous tales of Bhai Dooj. One includes Lord Krishna, the other carries Lord Yama, and the last one includes the brother-sister living on the Earth. According to Hindu mythology, it is told that Lord Krishna, after defeating the evil demon Narkasura visited his sister. His sister Subhadra gave him a warm welcome with sweets and flowers. Subhadra then affectionately puts a tilaka on Lord Krishna's forehead. Some believe this is how Bhai Dooj originated.
According to Hindu Mythology, the other story is that on this day, God of death Yama went to his sister's home. His sister, Yamuna, invited him for dinner, and he went to her home for dinner. This tradition of inviting brothers has been followed since then.
The above two stories are the origin of Bhai Dooj that is celebrated during Diwali. The story related to the Bhai Dooj that is celebrated during Holi is quite interesting too.
There was an old woman who had two children. One was a boy, and the other was a girl. The girl got married to a man living in another village. Once a boy requested his mother to let him visit his sister for a tika ceremony. Mother gave him her permission. It was the second day when the brother left to visit his sister. On his way to her home, he met a snake that wanted to kill him. He told the snake that he was visiting his sister, and the brother promised to return after he met his sister. Then when he moved forward, he met with a lion who wanted to kill him too. He told the lion the same thing. Then there was a river in his way which told him that it was his death. Brother told him the same thing and moved forward. The brother finally reached his sister's home. His sister gave him a warm welcome and performed the Tika ceremony. When the brother was returning home, his sister noticed he was sad. She asked him why he was worried. He then told her about the river, the snake, and the lion. Sister then decided to go with his brother to save his life. When she reached the river, she gave it a veil. When the lion confronted them, she threw meat for it. Lastly, on meeting with the snake, she offered it milk. This is how his sister saved his life. Thus, it became a festival in which sisters wished for their brother's long life.
Significance of Bhai Dooj
Brothers and sisters have a unique bond between them. They are each other's best friends, secret keepers, admirers, and have unconditional love between them. It is not possible to decode the love between siblings.
To celebrate this bond of brother-sister Bhaiya Dooj is celebrated. It strengthens the relationship between a brother and a sister. Sisters pray for their brother's long life, prosperity, and health. In return, brothers vow to protect and love their sister.
When Is Bhai Dooj Celebrated?
In the word, 'Bhai Dooj' Bhai means brother, and Dooj means the second day. Hence it is celebrated on the second day after the Diwali pooja.
The celebration of Bhai Dooj for the next three years is as follows.
Dates of Bhai Dooj
Bhai Dooj 2021 - 6 November, Saturday
Bhai Dooj 2022 - 26 October, Wednesday
Bhai Dooj 2023 - 14 November, Tuesday
Bhai Dooj 2024 - 3 November, Sunday
How is Bhai Dooj Celebrated?
Bhai Dooj is celebrated across the whole country. It has rituals similar to the Raksha Bandha. A seat made of rice flour is prepared for brothers by their sisters. Brother sits on the seat for the rites. Sisters then put a paste of red colour, rice, and curd on the brother's forehead. After applying the religious Tika, they perform Aarti. The dish of Aarti is decorated with flowers, sweets, and other things. After completing Aarti, sisters offer sweets to their brothers and tie kalawa on their wrists. Sisters on Bhai Dooj perform Aarti to wish for the long life and prosperity of their brothers.
After rituals are done, brother promises to protect their sisters and give them gifts. Siblings then take the elders' blessings.
Sisters perform Aarti for the moon whose brothers are unable to visit on the day of Bhai Dooj. They send their prayers for the long and happy life of their brother through the moon god.
Where is Bhai Dooj Celebrated?
Bhai Dooj is considered an important festival in Hinduism. It is celebrated by Hindus all across the country. Some of the States which celebrate it with enthusiasm are:
Bihar celebrates Bhai Dooj quite uniquely. On this day, sisters curse and abuse their brothers and then prick their tongues with a sharp object. They hurt the tongue to repent for cursing and insulting their brother. After this, they ask for their brother's forgiveness. In return, the brother gives blessings and gifts to their sisters.
- West Bengal
Bhai Dooj in West Bengal is known as Bhai Phonta. Here, sisters put fast on the day of Bhai Dooj. They don't break their fast until the ceremony is completed. Numerous rituals are also performed. When brother arrives, they do the tilak ritual and wish for their well being. A great feast is also organized by the sisters for their brothers.
Bhai Dooj is known as Bhav Bij in the state of Maharashtra. On this day, sisters make a square on the floor for their brothers. Brother sits in the square and has to eat a bitter fruit called Karith. Then, sisters put tilak on their brother's forehead. They perform Aarti and pray for their welfare.
Bhai Dooj is known as Bhaitihar in Nepal. Bhaitihar means the festival of brothers. Sisters pray to the God of death, Yamraj, for their brother's long life and success. Another difference in their celebration is sisters put seven-coloured Tika on their brother's forehead. Other rituals are basically the same as performed elsewhere.
Interesting Facts about Bhai Dooj
- Brother and sister should be more than five years old to celebrate this festival.
- It is the second most important festival for the people of Nepal.
- Bhai Dooj marks the end of the celebration of the Diwali festival.
- It is told that Lord Mahavira attained Moksha on this day.
- A sweet dish called Basundi Poori is made in every Maharashtrian household on this day.