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Bhai Dooj

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Introduction

Bhai Dooj is a 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 returns 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).

Bhai dooj or Yamadwitiya (also called as bhaubij) is celebrated on the 2nd day of the bright fortnight of the Hindu lunar month Kartik and it comes after the 4th day of Diwali. This festival is celebrated as a symbol of Divine bond of love between brother and sister. On this day, Shrīkrushna slayed the evil demon Shakatasur and liberated many women from the demon’s clutches.

 

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History of Bhai Dooj

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.

 

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How to celebrate Bhai Dooj

It is said that on this day, men should not eat meal cooked by their wife. They should visit their sister, gift her new clothes, ornaments, etc. and have a meal at her place. If they do not have a real sister, then they can go to any female cousin’s place or consider any other woman as his sister and have meal at her place. On this day, as Yamaraj visits His sister for a meal, the souls suffering in the hell are liberated at least for a day.

If a woman does not have a real brother, then considering any man as her brother she should perform the act of moving lit lamps around his face (Āratī). If that is not possible, then she can consider the Moon as her brother and perform arati for the moon.

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.

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.

 

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Significant of Bhai Dooj

People in Haryana, Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Goa celebrate this festival with the 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 the 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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