Bhai Dooj – as the name suggests “Bhai” meaning Brother and “Dooj” means second- means the festivals of bonding between brothers and sisters is celebrated on the Dwitiya Tithi. 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.
Legend behind Bhai Dooj
This is also known as ‘Yama Dwitiya’. It is believed that on this day, Yamaraj had visited his sister the Yamuna.
Another mythology story says about the warm welcome by Subhadra of his brother Krishna after he killed the demon Narakasur. She welcomed Shri Krishna with sweets and flowers and applied tilak on Krishna’s forehead.
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 amongst 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.