Bhai Dooj celebrates the selfless and pure love between a brother and sister. Bhai Dooj, also known as Bhaiya Dooj, Bhai Tika, Bhau Beej, and Bhai Phota, is celebrated by a sister praying for her brother's long life and well-being. It is observed on the second day or Dwitiya tithi of Shukla Paksha (bright fortnight) in the month of Kartik. According to the Gregorian calendar, this occasion falls between October and November. This festival is the last day of the five-day-long Diwali festivities.
Bhai Dooj 2021 is on 6th November 2021 (Saturday). Given below are the auspicious times you should know.
Bhai Dooj Aparahna Timing - 01:10 PM to 03:21 PM
Dwitiya Tithi Begins - 11:14 PM (5th November 2021)
Dwitiya Tithi Ends - 07:44 PM (6th November 2021)
Similar to Rakshabandhan, the festival of Bhai Dooj honours the pious and beautiful relationship between a brother and sister. This wonderful festival holds great significance. On this occasion, a sister prays to God for her dear brothers' longevity, prosperity, and well-being. To understand the literal meaning of Bhai Dooj, you first should know that the name is made up of two words, 'bhai' and 'dooj'. 'Bhai' denotes brother, and the word 'Dooj' means the second day after the new moon day.
This occasion celebrates the powerful bonding between the brother and the sister. This occasion celebrates the sisterly love that protects the brother from all obstacles and troubles in life. On this fateful day, the sister applies a tilak or tika and prays for her brother's long life and prosperity. The tika or the tilak ceremony signifies the sister's sincerest and heartfelt prayers for her brother's well-being, longevity, and prosperity against all the evils and bad fortune. In return, the brother follows his duties to care for and love his sister. He also presents her with gifts for all her toils and efforts for him.
On Bhai Dooj, the sisters invite their brothers to visit their house. The sister prepares a lavish meal that includes the dishes that her brother loves the most. This festival of Bhai Dooj is a grand affair for families as it allows the relatives and family members to meet each other and spend a cheerful time together.
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One of the mythological tales associated with the festival of Bhai Dooj is that Lord Yamraj or Yama, the God of death, paid a visit to his sister, Yami or Yamuna, to fulfil her wish of having her brother visit her. Yamuna was ecstatic to meet him. She applied tilak on Lord Yamraj's forehead and wholeheartedly prayed for his long life. She also cooked for him and fed him food. Pleased to receive such love and affection, Lord Yamraj asked his sister for a boon she wanted. The devoted sister said that she only wished that her brother visited her every year and that sisters who applied tilak and performed all the rituals for their brother on this day shall never have to fear Lord Yamraj. Yamraj was pleased with his sister's wish and granted it. He also stated that whoever received tilak from their sister on this propitious day will enjoy prosperity and long life. Many believe that this mythological tale is behind the tradition of Bhai Dooj. Hence, Bhai Dooj is also referred to as 'Yama Dwitiya'. On Bhai Dooj, taking a bath in the Yamuna river is considered significant. It is said that brothers and sisters who take a bath in the Yamuna river on this day get blessed.
Another popular mythological belief associated with Bhai Dooj is that Lord Krishna visited his sister Subhadra after defeating the evil demon Narakasura. On this day, Subhadra welcomed him with sweets, flowers, fruits, and lamps. She applied tilak on Lord Krishna's forehead and prayed for his long life. Since then, it became a custom to apply tilak on the brother's forehead on Bhai Dooj.
The festival of Bhai Dooj is celebrated with fervour, high spirits, and enthusiasm. The rituals for Bhai Dooj have slight differences depending on the region where it is being practised and its traditions and beliefs.
Given below are the Bhai Dooj rituals.
Wake up early and bathe. Then wear new clothes or fresh clothes and make all the arrangements for the Puja. Always ensure that the main rituals are being performed during the auspicious time.
On this day, the brother should have food at the sister’s house. However, if the sister is unmarried, the brother should have food prepared by the sister.
The sisters and brothers should make it a point to pray to Yamuna, Chitragupta, Yama, as well as Yama's messengers and also give arghya to everyone.
All the sisters are required to prepare a Puja plate for the tilak ceremony and aarti. Place vermilion (sindoor), flowers, fruits, betel nuts, sandalwood, sweets, etc., on the plate.
Make a square with rice mixture, and then the brother should sit in that square. The sister should then start with the Tilak ceremony.
The sister should apply tika or tilak on the brother's forehead with roli and akshat. After that, she should do aarti. She should pray for his long life and well-being. This gesture is also meant to ward off any evil from his life.
After that, the sister should then put sindoor, paan (betel leaf), and a whole coconut on the brother’s palm. Then the Kalava should be tied around the brother’s wrist.
The sister then should feed her brother a sweet. She should wish that he had a prosperous and long life. After this, the brother should give the sister gifts, which will then conclude the rituals.
Many sisters also observe a fast till the Puja and ceremony are done. Apart from the exchange of gifts on this day, blessings are also given by the elders in the family.
India is known for its diversity, so it only makes sense to say that Bhai Dooj has different names in different regions. This is why even the rituals performed on this occasion vary from region to region. However, one constant thing is that this holy festival still holds the same importance in people's hearts no matter where you go in the country. Sisters and brothers eagerly look forward to this occasion and spend this day with gaiety and joy. Brothers, who live in distant places, make it a point to meet their sisters on this day.
Given below are a few ways this festival is celebrated in different parts of India.
In West Bengal, the festival is called 'Bhai Phota'. On this day, the sisters observe a fast until the ceremony is done. They apply a tika or tilak on their brother's forehead. The tilak is made of kajal, sandalwood, and ghee. After this, they pray for their brother's well-being. Gifts are exchanged, and a lavish feast is also organised at home on this occasion.
Bhai Dooj is known as 'Bhau Beej' in Maharashtra. The word 'Bhau' in Marathi means brother. On this occasion, the brother is made to sit on the floor where the sister draws a square. After that, he is made to consume a bitter fruit known as Karith. Then the sister applies tilak on the brother's forehead and then proceeds to perform the aarti. She also prays for her brother's well-being and welfare. The brother then gives gifts to the sister.
Bihar celebrated the festival of Bhai Dooj uniquely. On this occasion, the sister scolds her brother and hurls curses and abuses at him. After that, she pricks her tongue as a punishment and asks for her brother's forgiveness.
This festival thus strengthens the love and bond between brothers and sisters. This festival is for the brothers and sisters to express their love for each other.
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By- Team Astroyogi