Bhai Dooj or Bhaiya Dooj is a Hindu festival; celebrated the pious relationship between a brother and sister. It marks the end of 5 days long Diwali Festival; and celebrated by all women by applying tilak on their brother’s 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 2022 Date: Wednesday, 26 October
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 brothers worship, Lord Moon.
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 the 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 a 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 brothers and sisters to show 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’s long and happy life.
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 to as Bhai Phonta in Gujarat; Maharashtra, Goa is referred to 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, 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 colorful, which consists of seven colors and called ‘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 the first day refers to 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