Event Name : Bhai Dooj
Start Date : 13th Nov 2015
Venue : India
2015 Bhai Dooj
Other names for this festival are Bhai Beej and Bhai Phota, Bhatrhru Dwithiya, Bhai Tika and Bhatri Ditya. The variation in names is due to the different geographic regions where this festival is celebrated owing to the festival’s name in different regional languages.
This is a Hindu festival which is observed on the last day of the five-day Divali. As, predominantly Indian, this festival is also celebrated in Nepal. The basic theme of this festival is that sisters pray for the wellbeing of their brothers and the brothers reaffirm their pledge to protect and look after their sisters.
How Bhai Dooj is Celebrated?
- There are variations of how this festival is celebrated but in all cases the main highlight of the ceremony is putting tilak (a spot usually made of vermilion powder) on the forehead of a brother by his sister.
- In North India the festival is popularly known as Bhai Dooj and is marked with sisters who pray for the well-being of their brothers.
- In most cases sweets are also fed to the brothers by the sisters and gifts or money is given to the sisters by the brothers.
- Traditional Aarti is also performed by the sisters. This is done by rotating a lit lamp in front of the brother. The fire is supposed to ward off evil and bring good luck.
- The sisters also observe this festival by fasting throughout the day until the ceremony is completed in the afternoon or evening.
- In the state of West Bengal this festival is known as Bhai Phota and the sisters put sandalwood paste in the form of tilak on their brothers’ foreheads. Bhai Phota is celebrated in West Bengal a couple of days after Kali Pooja.
- Bhai Dooj is also a time for a family get-together. So, it is not just the brothers and sisters of the family who celebrate this festival, but it is usually a chance for the entire family to share a meal together on this auspicious occasion.
The Origin of Bhai Dooj
According to the Hindu folklore and documentation in the Rig Veda, Lord Yama and Goddess Yamuna were twin brother and sister. When Yamuna wanted to see her brother, she called Yama to her house where she worshipped him and prayed for his well-being. The example followed by mortals is practiced today in the form of Bhai Dooj.