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Bhai Dooj

Bhai Dooj / Bhau-Beej / Bhai Tika / Bhai Phonta  is one of the most popular and auspicious Hindu festivals and signifies the bonds of love between a brother and sister. A part of the five-day Diwali celebrations, Bhai Dooj is celebrated on the last day. The significance and celebrations of Bhai Dooj are similar to that of Raksha Bandhan. In Bhai Dooj, too, sisters pray for the long life and well being of their brothers. The only difference is that unlike in Raksha Bandhan where sisters tie a thread on their brother's wrist, in Bhai Dooj they apply tika on their brother's forehead.Bhai Dooj is one of the most popular and auspicious Hindu festivals and signifies the bonds of love between a brother and sister. A part of the five-day Diwali celebrations, Bhai Dooj is celebrated on the last day. The significance and celebrations of Bhai Dooj are similar to that of Raksha Bandhan. In Bhai Dooj, too, sisters pray for the long life and well being of their brothers. The only difference is that unlike in Raksha Bandhan where sisters tie a thread on their brother's wrist, in Bhai Dooj they apply tika on their brother's forehead.

History of Bhai Dooj

Long time back, Surya, the sun God, was married to a beautiful princess called Samjna (also pronounced as Sangya). In the course of a year, she presented Him with twins. The twins were christened Yama, and Varni or Yamuna, and they grew up together. According to the Hindu Mythology, it is considered that the God of death, Yamraj, had visited his lovable sister named Yami (Yamuna) at 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. At 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 as 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 celebrated Bhai Dooj

Sisters request their brothers to come to their home for celebrating this festival with their beloved dishes. Sisters, at 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 brother by applying the paste of rice and Sindoor. Then, sister offers flower 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 the God for the longevity of the brother.At some place in India such as the Haryana, Maharashtra where the festival is normal to celebrate, the sister without brother (who has no brother), celebrate the particular occasion by worshipping the Hindu God Moon instead of brother. Sisters apply mehndi on their hands at 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.

Gifts and return gifts for the occasion

Every big and small celebration is incomplete without the presence of exciting gift items. As the occasion is a symbol of the strong sibling relationship, brothers and sisters need to look out for exceptional Bhai Dooj gifts from offline or online gifting store. While brothers can shop for special gift hampers, a box of chocolates, soft toys, personalized gifts, and other items for their beloved sister on this auspicious occasion. Similarly, sisters can look for Bhai Dooj Pooja Thali, traditional sweets, exotic chocolate pack, personalized mug, cushion, photo frame, table lamp and other gifts to strengthen their sibling bonding to a great extent. This offering of gifts and return gifts by both brother and sister to each other has become an important part of the present day celebration of this special occasion among people.
 

Celebration of Bhaiya Dooj in various states of India

1.Bhai Dooj In Uttar Pradesh
2.Bhai Dooj In Bengal
3.Bhai Dooj In Bihar
4.Bhai Dooj In Punjab
5.Bhai Dooj In Gujarat
6.Bhai Dooj In Maharashtra & Goa
 

The festivities

Bhai Dooj is an age-old festival and the way it is being celebrated has remained more or less the same. However, over the years, the way sisters convey their wishes to their brothers have seen a significant change and this is mostly due to the advent of the Internet age. Earlier, sisters whose brothers were far away would send their brothers cards or tika in envelops days in advance. It would take many days to reach and at times brothers would get the greetings or cards after the festival was over. But online communication has changed all that. Today, the Internet is flooded with beautiful Bhai Dooj cards and messages that you can send to your brothers. Many of these cards are free and customized, which means that you can write your own message on the card and send it across to your brother. No more endless waiting! Just click on the card and it would reach your brother in a matter of seconds.
 

Legends associated with the festival

As with other Hindu festivals, there are also very exciting and inspirational legends associated with Bhai Dooj. It is said that the Lord of Death, Yamraj, every year visits his sister, Yami, on this day. His sister, in turn, puts tilak on his head and prays for Yamraj's well being. However, another notable story that people believe to be the origin of Bhai Dooj is that Lord Krishna after killing Narkasur, an evil demon, paid a visit to his sister Subhadra. Krishna's sister welcomed him by applying tilak on his head and offering him sweets and flowers. This led to the start of the revered festival of Bhai Dooj.

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