History, Significance, How to Celebrate Bhaiduj

Bhai Dooj 2019

The festival of Bhai Dooj 2019 was celebrated on Tuesday 29th October 2019.

It is a special occasion for brothers and sisters, especially the married sisters and their brothers. Sisters call their brothers to their houses for customs similar to that of Rakshabandhan, except that this time the invitation is sent to brothers for a feast in their sister’s house.

Markets selling gifts and other articles had come upon the occasion of Bhaiduj and women and girls were busy preparing their brother’s favorite dishes.

Bhaiya Dooj is the most prominent and legendary festival of India when sisters make a pray to God for their dearest brothers to get a long-living and prosperous life. Sisters perform puja and tika ceremony as well as gets return gifts from brothers. It is also called in India at various places as Bhau Beej (in the Goa, Maharashtra, and Karnataka), Bhai Tika (in Nepal), Bhathru Dwithiya, Bhau-Deej, Bhai Phota (in Bengal), and Ningol Chakuba (in Manipur).

It is the most celebrated festival in India which is enjoyed two days after the main Diwali festival. According to the Gregorian calendar, it falls on the 2nd day of Shukla Paksha in the month of Kartika (between October and November). All the sisters awaken very early in the morning, worship and pray to God and Goddesses for the better future and health of their brothers.

After puja ritual celebration takes place including the tika ceremony by putting vermillion, Dahi, and rice on their forehead. After this ceremony, they do aarti and offer sweets and a glass of water to eat and drink. Finally, they exchange gifts and take blessings by touching the feet of elders.

It is also celebrated outside the country. It is just like the Raksha Bandhan festival to increase the bond of love among brothers and sisters. At this auspicious day, sisters make prayer to God for the well being and welfare of their special brothers while brothers offer gifts according to their strength in order to show their love and care for their loving sisters. There are a variety of stories and legends which are related to the origin and celebration of this special occasion.

History of Bhai Dooj

According to Hindu Mythology, it is considered that the God of death, Yamraj, had visited his lovable sister named Yami (Yamuna) on this special day. His sister welcomed him by aarti and tilak ceremony. She offered him a garland and special dishes including sweets to eat. He had returned her sister a unique gift as a symbol of his love and care towards her sister. On that day Yamraj had declared that the brother who would receive tilak and aarti by their sister, he would never be frightened. That’s why the same day is called the Yama Dwitiya.

According to another story, Hindu Lord Krishna had returned to his sister, Subhadra, after killing the demon king Narakasur where he was welcomed by his sister with tilak, aarti, sweets, and flowers.

How to Celebrate Bhai Dooj

Sisters request their brothers to come to their homes for celebrating this festival with their beloved dishes. Sisters, on this day, pray to God to give blessings to their brothers to be protected from all the problems and bad fortune. However, brothers follow their responsibilities towards their loving and caring sisters.

Sisters make a seat for their brothers by the flour of rice to sit on this and receive a ceremony. They worship the hands of brothers by applying the paste of rice and Sindoor. Then, sister offers flowers of Kaddu, betel leaves, betel nut and coins in the palms of their brother. Sisters chant mantras by pouring water on the palm. The application of Kalawa in the hand, tilak, and aarti is performed. Sisters lit a lamp facing the south direction. It is considered that it is very lucky to see the flying kite in the sky to get fulfilled the wishes requested by God for the longevity of the brother.

At someplace in India such as the Haryana, Maharashtra where the festival is normal to celebrate, the sister without a brother (who has no brother), celebrates the particular occasion by worshipping the Hindu God Moon instead of a brother. Sisters apply Mehendi on their hands on this day as their custom and tradition.

Sisters who are far away from their brothers, make pray to the God moon, take aarti for the happiness and prosperity in the life of their brothers. Whereas, brothers send return gifts and lots of love to their sisters through the email, post or by other means. This is the main reason why all children make a call to the moon by the name of Chandamama.

Significance of Bhai Dooj

People in Haryana, Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Goa celebrate this festival with great passion and fun. It is the time when brothers and sisters remember their responsibilities for each other. It reunites and renews the relationship and love of brothers and sisters when all the members of the family get together to celebrate it. There is a sweet dish in Maharashtra known as the basundi poori or kheerni poori.

This festival brings a lot of happiness, affection, and warmth between the relationship of brother and sister. This festival is a way to present the love and care of brothers and sisters to each other. Five betel nuts and betel leaves are placed at the brother’s had by their sisters. Prayer is done by the sisters by pouring water on their hands.


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