India — Festivals
Festival of Bhai Dooj — Bond between a Brother and Sister
Bhai Dooj is a festival celebrated by Hindus of India and Nepal. It is also known as, Bhai Phonta in Bengal, Bhai Bij or Bhau Beej in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka, Bhai Tika in Nepal. Diwali is a five-day festivity. The celebrations begin with Dhanteras and conclude with Bhai Dooj.
The festival falls on the second lunar day of Shukla Paksha (bright fortnight), in the month of Kartik according to the traditional Hindu calendar. In Bengal Bhai Phonta takes place every year on the second day after Kali Puja. Bhai Dooj and Bhai Phonta are celebrated on October 21, 2017.
Bhai Dooj — October 21, 2017
The origin of the festival is associated with two main stories.
In the southern part of the country, the day is celebrated as Yama Dwitiya.
According to the popular Hindu mythology, it is believed that Yamraj (god of death) had visited his sister Yami or Yamuna (the famous river) on the Dwitiya (second day after new moon) of Sukla Paksha in the Kartik month. Yami welcomed him with aarti and tilak and offered him a lavish meal. In return for Yami’s affection and gesture, Yamraj gave Yami a unique gift that whoever celebrates this day with his sister would not fear death.
It is also believed that Bhai Dooj came into being after Lord Krishna’s traditional welcome by his sister Subhadra when he returned after killing Narkasura, the demon king. He was greeted by putting a tilak on his forehead and performing an aarti.
The celebrations of this day are similar to the festival of Raksha Bandhan as both the festivals celebrate the beautiful bond between siblings.
The festival symbolises the beautiful bond of a brother and sister. On this day, sisters pray for a happy and prosperous life and good health of their brothers, while brothers vow to protect the sisters.
On this occasion, sisters apply tilak (vermillion, dahi and rice) on their brothers’ foreheads. In Bengal, sisters apply sandalwood paste and kajal on their brothers’ forehead. In Nepal, however, seven different colours are used as tilak. After this ceremony they do aarti. Sisters prepare and treat their beloved brothers with various kind of sweetmeats. The sisters are then presented with gifts. The siblings touch their elders’ feet to get their blessings.
In Haryana, basically a special ritual also followed, a dry coconut (named as gola in regional language) with klewa tied along its width for worshipping is also used at the time of doing aarti of your brother.
GoldenTwine Informatics wishes you
Happy Bhai Dooj and Happy Bhai Phonta
May this Bhai Dooj and Bhai Phonta strengthen the bond between a brother and sister more than ever and bring them joy and prosperity.