A day in honour of the infamous brother-sister relationship – Bhai Dooj. This auspicious day shows us how much we love our siblings even though we fight with them on other days. Bhai Dooj has obviously evolved into more modern methods via emails, text messages and letters or even Skype calls. But what exactly is this popular celebration? Read on to find out more.
What is Bhai Dooj?
Bhai Dooj is a celebration of the brother-sister bond between siblings. According to the Gregorian calendar, ‘Bhai Dooj’ falls on the 2nd day of Shukla Paksha in the month of Kartika (between October and November). It is a day where sisters pray for a long and successful life of their brothers.
They perform a puja, tilak ceremony and other rituals before they exchange gifts and take blessings from the elders. In return, brothers give their sisters gifts in forms of money, clothes and other goodies.
This day is called various names such as ‘Bhai Dooj’ or ‘Bhau Beej’ and ‘Bhau Deej’ as well.
History of Bhai Dooj
Yamraj or Yama, the God of Death, visited his sister named Yami or Yamuna on this day. She welcomed him with an aarti (puja) and tilak ceremony. She then offered him a garland of flowers and prepared delicious dishes including his favourite sweets. In return, he blessed with gifts and declared this day as ‘Yama Dwitiya’ – a day where no brother would get scared after receiving the puja and tilak from his sister.
Another legend state that the Hindu Lord Krishna had returned to his sister Subhadra after killing the demon Kind Naraksasur. She welcomed him with tilak, aarti, sweets, and flowers.
How is Bhai Dooj celebrated?
This day is also the second day of Diwali when sisters go to their brother’s house. It is celebrated to increase the bond between brothers and sister siblings in the family. It is also a break from her married life in her own house when she visits her brother’s house to enjoy time with her own parents and siblings. Some traditions also ask sisters to apply Mehendi on their hands on this day. For those who don’t have brothers, girls worship the Hindu God of Moon instead.
Yummy foods are made on this day. Kheemi puri or basundi puri is prepared as a dessert. Different kinds of gifts are exchanged from money, clothes, appliances, sweets and other goodies. Because of technology, brothers now send gifts via the internet like online vouchers, coupons from his sister’s favorite stores and brands.