Table of Content
When is Bhai Dooj Celebrated?
Bhai Dooj 2021 Date
06, November, 2021, Saturday
The celebration happens on the second day of the Shukla Paksha in the Hindu month of Kartik which falls between October and November which is considered to be very pure and holy.
What is Bhai Dooj?
Bhai dooj is a festival celebrated by Hindus annually or in some regions, even twice a year. “Bhai” means brother “Dooj” means the second day after the new moon (on this day, the festival is celebrated).
It is a festival that embarks on the sacred bond between brother and sister. This relation is always unique and strong. To celebrate this bond, festivals like Bhaiya dooj and Rakshabandan are present in Indian society.
Bhai dooj is also known with different names in different regions of the country: Bhaiya Dooj, Yama Dwithiya, Bhai tika, Bhau Beej, Bhai pota and Bhatru Dviteeya or Bhatri Ditya.
It is mainly celebrated in the northern region of India and also in Nepal. It is celebrated in states like Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Haryana, Orissa, Punjab, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. On this day, sisters perform a tika ceremony. They pray and wish for the long life, health, wealth and prosperity of their brothers and in return, brothers give them gifts.
This festival is similar to Raksha Bandhan, but rather than tying the Rakhi, sisters put “Veer Tilak” to their brothers for their prosperity and well being.
It is celebrated with great enthusiasm the whole family joins together to celebrate this festival.
Why is Bhai Dooj Celebrated?
There are two interesting anecdotes about this festival.
First Story of Bhai Dooj
According to ancient Hindu mythology, it is said that the God of death, Yama visited his sister Yami after many years. Yami welcomed him with Arti, Tilak and sweets. In return, Yama gave her gifts and promised her all the happiness and joy in the world.
He also declared that any brother receiving arti and Tilak by his sister on this day should not be frightened for death. For this reason, it is called Yama Dwitiya, which is the second day after Diwali.
Second Story Bhai Dooj
Another story states that Lord Krishna went to visit his sister Subhadra on this auspicious day after defeating the demon Narakasura. It is said that Subhadra welcomed him with a garland and performed arti, which gave rise to the festival of Bhai Dooj. This festival celebrates the beautiful relationship of brother and sister and the love and affection of this bond.
How is Bhai Dooj Celebrated?
Bhai Dooj Puja is usually celebrated at the mother’s house. The celebration set is presented by the sister applying the tikka or Tilak on her brother’s forehead.
Bhaiya Dooj is one of India’s best numerous celebrations that re-emphasise the significance of human bonding or a pure bond between a brother and sister. Along with this, for married sisters, it is crucial to visit their native place for celebrating this puja.
This day hold special significance in their lives. Sisters request their brothers to come to her house for celebrating this festival. They wear new clothes. Sister applies Mehendi on her palms and feet. She prepares tasty delicacies for her brother. One of such famous and important dish for this festival is Kesar poori. On this day, sisters pray to God for their well being and good health.
Sisters make a seat for their brother by the flour or rice on the ground and request her brother to be seated to receive the ceremony. She worships the hands of her brother by applying the paste of Rice and Roli. Then, the sister offers the flower of kaddu, betel leaves, betel nuts and coins in the palms of her brother.
Sisters chant Vedic mantras by pouring water on the palm. After this procedure, she applies Tika on his forehead, gives arti to her brother, and prays to God to keep him safe and secure from evil and bad luck. After performing the pooja brother gives his sister many gifts and blessings. He promises her that he is always there to protect her and never leave her side.
When all the rituals are completed, all the family joins together and enjoys the delicacies made with love and joy. If the sister stays far from her brother or cannot go to her house, she is suggested to pray to the moon as it acts as a messenger between them.
Side by side or miles apart, brothers and sisters will always be connected by the heart. They are always there for each other in both good and bad situations. There can be no companion better than brother and no friend better than a sister.
Bhaiya Dooj Rituals of Various Places
Bhaiya Dooj is commended in various places with various ceremonies and has different folklores related to it. This custom mainly differs from one location to another. This custom represents the obligation of the sibling to ensure their sisters and sisters petition God for their sibling’s wellbeing and long life.
Alongside the custom of the Tilak, dry coconut is attached with Kalawa string along its width and offered at the hour of aarti.
Sisters fast in the morning of the day until the traditional customs are finished and ready Tilak made of ghee, sandalwood and kohl. The sisters tell their brothers to sit on an ‘Asana’, but it is not necessary to put the Tilak on the brother’s forehead.
When the sister is elder, she blesses her brother by showing him rice grains and Dubya, a special sort of grass, when the brother touches her feet and takes blessings.
It is a unique custom in Bengal for the sister, if she is older than her brother, to put the Tilak with the little finger of the left hand and with that of the right hand if she is younger than her brother.
This custom is considered very pure and the main ritual after ‘Dashain’. This is praised on the third day of the ‘Tyohar’ celebration. This custom is broadly celebrated by individuals in Newari, Tharu, Bahun and Chhetri gatherings.
Although the naming differs for each location, the main motive of this festival remains the same.