Bhai Dooj

Bhai Dooj or Bhaiya Dooj is a Hindu festival; celebrated the pious relationship between a brother and sister. It falls on Shukla Paksha Dwitiya of Kartik month – Tuesday, 29 October 2019. It marks end of 5 days long Diwali Festival; and celebrated by all women by applying tilak on their brothers forehead and praying for their long life. The celebrations of this day are similar to the festival of Raksha Bandhan. In the southern part of the country, this day is celebrated as Yama Dwitiya.

Bhai Dooj – the name suggests “Bhai” meaning Brother and “Dooj” means second- means the festivals of bonding between brothers and sisters are celebrated. On this day, sisters pray to God for the well-being and longevity of their brothers. In return, the brothers give gifts. In certain parts of India, women who do not have brother worship Lord Moon.

diwali 2017

Origin – Story of Bhai Dooj

Lord Krishna and Subhadra

After defeating the demon King Narakasura; Lord Krishna paid a visit to his sister Subhadra who gave him a warm welcome with sweets and flowers. She applied tilaka on Krishna’s forehead with affection. This is the origin of Bhai Dooj festival.

Yama and Yami

Once Yama, the God of Death visited his sister Yami. She put tilak on her brother Yama’s forehead, garlanded him and fed him special dishes that she cooked herself. Since they were meeting each other after a long time, they dined together and talked to each other to their heart’s content. They also exchanged gifts to each other and Yami had made the gift with her own hands.

Yama then announced that whoever receives tilak from his sister on this particular day will enjoy long life and prosperity. So Bhai Dooj is also known as Yama Dwitiya.

Rituals of Bhai Dooj

On the eve of Bhai Dooj, sisters prepare dishes/sweets for her brother. At the arrival of her brother, she applies tilak to his forehead and performs aarti of his brother. She prays for his long life.

In Bengal, Sisters fast for their brothers and apply tilak over the forehead of her brother made of ghee, chandan&kajal. Kheer and coconut Laddoos are amongst the traditional sweets of this festival.

Nowadays gifts are also shared among brother and sisters to show the love and affection. The day and the tradition signify that the brother will protect his sister. Also, it shows the sincerest prayers of a sister for his brother long and happy life.

Regional Celebration

Like Raksha Bandhan, Bhai Dooj celebrates the pious relationship between a brother and sister. It is celebrated with different names in different cultures; with some specific rituals.  In Nepal it is celebrated as Bhai Tika; in Bengal, it is referred as Bhai Phonta in Gujarat; Maharashtra, Goa it is referred as Bhai Beej/Bhav Beej.

  • Bhai Dooj – In north India, it is also celebrated as Bhaiya dooj. In Haryana, basically, a special ritual also followed, a dry coconut with klewa tied along its width for worshipping is also used at the time of doing aarti of your brother.
  • Bhai Dwitiya – in some places of Bihar.
  • Bhai Tika – in Nepal; is the last, and the most important day of Tihar. The Tika(tilak) is colourful, which consists of seven colors and called as ‘Saptarangi Tika’ in Nepali.
  • Bhau Beej – in Maharastra and Goa; apart from tilak and Aarti ceremony women make basundi puri or sikarkand puri to celebrate this day.
  • Bhai Beej – in Gujarat; it is also the 2nd day of Gujarati New year. As first day refers Govardhan Puja.
  • Bhatru Dviteeya, or Bhatri Ditya or Bhaghini Hastha Bhojanamu in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
  • Yama Dwitiya or Yamadvitiya – Some southern part of India

Date and Tika Ceremony Muhurat

In 2019; Bhai Dooj falls on Tuesday, 29 October. 
Bhai Dooj Tika Muhurat = 13:10 to 15:22 (May vary on basis of Geographic location)

As muhurat varies place to place; don’t collect muhurat from any unauthorized online sources. Consult any recognized pandit nearby or verified online source.

Other Festivals of Diwali

  • Govatsa Dwadashi and Vasu Baras dedicated to the worship of Cows. It falls on Friday, 25 October 2019. This festival is majorly observed by people of Maharashtra.
  • Dhanteras and Yama Deepam: On this day, Lord Kuber is also worshiped along with Goddess Lakshmi. It falls on Friday, 25 October 2019.
  • Narak Chaturdashi and Kali Chaudas is also referred as Chhoti Diwali; as it falls just a day before the festival Diwali. It falls on 26/27 October 2019.
  • Laxmi Puja, Diwali Puja: On this day Lakshmi Puja is performed along with Lord Ganesha. Apart from Lakshmi-Ganesha Puja, Kuber Puja and Bahi-Khata Puja are also done. This year Diwali falls on Sunday, 27 October.
  • Govardhan Puja/ Annakut: On this day, Devotees prepare chappan bhog and offer to Lord Krishna depicting Govardhan mountain; on the remembrance of the day for saving them. It falls on Monday, 28 October 2019.


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