Bhai Dooj 2017 would be celebrated in India on 21st of October, at Saturday.
Bhaiya 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 return 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).
It is the most celebrated festival in India which is enjoyed two days after the main Diwali festival. According to the Gregorian calendar, it falls on the 2nd day of Shukla Paksha in the month of Kartika (between October and November). All the sisters awaken very early in the morning, worship and pray to God and Goddesses for the better future and health of their brothers. After puja ritual celebration takes place including tika ceremony by putting vermillion, dahi and rice on their forehead. After this ceremony they do aarti and offer sweet and glass of water to eat and drink. Finally they exchange gifts and take blessing by touching the feet of elders.
It is also celebrated outside the country. It is just like the Raksha Bandhan festival to increase the bond of love among brothers and sisters. At this auspicious day sisters make pray to God for the well being and welfare of their special brothers while brothers offer gifts according to their strength in order to show their love and care for their loving sisters. There are variety of stories and legends which are related to the origin and celebration of this special occasion.
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.
How to celebrate Bhai Dooj
Sisters request their brothers to come to their home for celebrating this festival with their beloved dishes. Sisters, at this day pray to God to give blessings to their brothers to be protected from all the problems and bad fortune. However, brothers follow their responsibilities towards their loving and caring sisters.
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.
At some place in India such as the Haryana, Maharashtra where the festival is normal to celebrate, the sister without brother (who has no brother), celebrate the particular occasion by worshipping the Hindu God Moon instead of brother. Sisters apply mehendi on their hands at this day as their custom and tradition.
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.
Significance 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.