BHAI DOOJ festival is one of the much awaited occasion for the followers of Hindu religion across India. In India every festive occasion is associated with one or the another revered object or symbol like special seasons harvest or winter, Gods- Goddesses and relationships. Bhai Dooj festival is such an occasion that glorifies the beloved relationship between brothers and sisters. This festive occasion is celebrated by brothers and sisters to reaffirm the special bonding of love and care for each other. The celebration of brotherly-sisterly bonding comes twice in a year known as Raksha Bandhan and Bhai Duj festival.
ON THE day of Bhai Dooj, sisters pray for the well being and longevity of their brothers by performing special pooja ceremonies & putting vermilion (Tilak) on their brother's forehead. In a reciprocal gesture brothers bestow gifts and swear to protect their sisters when need arises. Bhai Dooj or Bhai Duj festival is known and celebrated across India by various names like: Bhaubeej or Bhau-Beej (in Maharashtra), Bhai Beej (in Gujarat), Bhai Phota (in West Bengal). The festival of Bhai Dooj occurs every year generally in the month of October-November.
When is Bhai Dooj
THE NAME of Bhai Dooj refers to two terms namely Bhai that means Brother and Dooj that stands for the second day after the new moon. Bhai Duj is celebrated every year usually in the month of October-November, two days after Diwali festival.
IN YEAR 2008 Bhai Dooj festival will be celebrated on Thursday, 30th October.
Tradition and Celebrations of Bhaiya Dooj
"Bhratus tabaa grajaataaham, Bhunksa bhaktamidam shuvam Preetaye yama raajasya, Yamunaah Visheshatah."
" I'm your sister, Eat this sacred rice, For the pleasure of "Yam Raj" and "Yamuna"."
THE AUSPICIOUS occasion of Bhai Dooj is eagerly awaited, that reinforces the bond between brothers and sisters and their affectionate relationship. On the festive day everyone gets ready very early to celebrate the occasion. After praying to God, the sisters perform the aarti of their brothers and put 'tika' and 'chawal' on their forehead, praying for their well being and brothers in return pledges to take care of her, in any condition. It's an opportunity for a good feast, coupled with an enthusiastic exchange of gifts, and merriment in every Indian household.
ACCORDING TO the Hindu scriptures say: "A forehead without a Tilak is worthy of condemnation and they exist for name's sake only." It is held that anyone who receives the auspicious tilak on the forehead from his sister on this day would never be hurled into hell.
BHAI DOOJ is celebrated two days after the grand celebrations of Diwali festival. The festival of Bhaiya Dooj is observed among Hindus throughout India with great devotion and known with various names such as : 'Bhav-Bij' in Maharashtra, 'Bhai Phota' in West Bengal, 'Bhai Beej' in Gujarat. Bhathru Dwithiya, Bhai-Tika, Bhatri Ditya and Yamadwitheya are some other popular names for Bhai Dooj.
Legends of Bhai Dooj Festival
Yamraj & Yami
BHAI DOOJ is also celebrated as 'Yama Dwiteeya'. It's believed that on this day, Yamaraj, the Lord of Death and the Custodian of Hell, visited his sister Yami's house, who put the auspicious mark on his forehead praying for his safety and prosperity. So on this day Sisters apply tilak on the forehead of their brothers and seeks God's blessings for them. Therefore this festival represents respect, love and admiration of sisters towards their brothers.
Lord Krishna & Narakasura
ACCORDING TO one legend, on this day, Lord Krishna, after slaying the Narakasura demon, goes to his sister Subhadra who welcomes him with the lamp, flowers and sweets, and puts the holy protective spot on her brother's forehead.
Lord Mahavir & Sudarshana
YET ANOTHER story behind the origin of Bhai Dooj Festival says that when Mahavir, the founder of Jainism, attained nirvana, his brother King Nandivardhan was distressed because he missed him and was comforted by his sister Sudarshana. Since then, women have been revered during Bhai Dooj Festival.
Significance of Bhai Dooj
LIKE OTHER festivals in India, Bhai Dooj is also an occasion for family get togethers, feasting and exchanging gifts. Bhai Dooj is also a celebration of sacred relationship between sisters and brothers. Although this festival is dedicated to the bond of care and affection between brother & sister but it goes way beyond it. Bhaiya Dooj signifies the peaceful co-existence of every individual, promotes the feeling of unity and encourage the harmonious social life.