What is Bhai Dooj and Why is it Celebrated?
Bhai Dooj or bhaiya Dooj is a Hindu festival celebrated on the last day of the five-day-long festival of Diwali. It is a festival of a brother and sister where the sister put on tika on her brother’s forehead and prays for his lifelong happiness and prosperity. It is celebrated on the second lunar day of the Shukla paksha of the Kartika month of the Hindu calendar.
It is said that after defeating the evil demon narakasura, Krishna came to visit his sister Subhadra. To welcome her brother graciously, Subhadra made arrangements with sweets and flowers and put a tilak on Krishna’s forehead, hence Bhai Dooj festival Vidhi continued in India and in other countries among the Hindus.
Bhai Dooj puja can also be conducted by the sisters to pray for their brothers. This year Dwitiya starts at 2.42 pm on the 26th of October and ends at 12.45 pm on the 27th of October. The Bhai Dooj puja time can be fixed between these hours. But it is better to do the puja on the 26th of October which is the first day of the Dwitiya tithi.
What should we not do on Bhai Dooj?
It is said that non-vegetarian food should not be consumed during the day of Bhai-Dooj. In addition to that alcohol also should not be consumed on this auspicious day. It is also advised to keep a Bhai Dooj vrat vidhi on this day, where the sister as well the brother should not eat before applying tilak and exchanging gifts with each other.
The Reason Behind Bhai Dooj-
On this auspicious day, every sister prays for their brother’s good health and lifelong prosperity. It is a celebration of the beautiful relationship that a sister and a brother have.
According to Hindu mythology, Bhai Dooj Katha states that lord Krishna defeated and killed the demon Narakasur which is celebrated as narak Chaturdashi. On the next day, Krishna came back and visited his sister Subhadra, who made huge arrangements for her brother’s welcome. Lord Krishna was welcomed with sweets and flowers. Subhadra also put tilak on his forehead. This tradition was later named Bhai Dooj which became the festival of brothers and their sisters.
In some other traditions, it is believed that lord Yamraja’s sister Yamuna invited him on many occasions which he was unable to attend. But later on, when he finally came to visit Yamuna, he was welcomed with a grand celebration. She also placed a tika on his forehead. Yamraj became so pleased with the gesture that he granted a boon to the Yamuna, to which his sister demanded that Yamraja would visit her on that day every year. Thus, the age-old tradition of brothers visiting their sisters was started.
How is Bhai Dooj Celebrated?
Bhai Dooj is celebrated to mark the strong bond between brother and sister. On this day the sister keeps a Vrat until she puts a seven-coloured tika on her brother’s forehead and prays for his long life and happiness. They exchange gifts among themselves, and the day is celebrated with fun, food, and laughter.
Some people also perform Bhai Dooj puja Vidhi on this day. Bhai Dooj puja thali is prepared, and the deities are offered sweets and flowers. Bhai Dooj puja samagri includes flowers, sweets of many kinds, tilak, Haldi, incense sticks, etc.
The sisters also invite their brothers to their place for a delicious meal which consists of their favourite dishes of all kinds.
Significance of Bhai Dooj-
The idea behind Bhai Dooj is mainly to celebrate the relationship between brother and sister. The brother vows to protect his sister in all situations and the sister prays for her brother’s good health and prosperity. The sisters welcome their brother at their home and cook them their favourite meal. They exchange gifts among themselves.
Literally, the term 'Bhai' means brother and 'Dooj' means the second day after the new moon which is the day it is celebrated. The significance of Bhai Dooj is almost similar to the celebration of Raksha Bandhan except no ceremonial bands are tied on the hands.
This festival is celebrated throughout India with different rituals. Like in Haryana and Maharashtra the women who do not have a brother worship the Chandra or moon instead. They do all the rituals with the moon like performing aarti and asking for his blessings.
In eastern India, Bhai Phonta is celebrated with the same rituals and ceremonies. Here the sister put on a sandalwood tika on the forehead which is thought to be very auspicious.
The same festival is observed in Haryana, Gujrat and in the nearby states with the name of Bhai Bij. This also holds the same significance among brothers and sisters.
In Nepal, it is celebrated as Bhaitika or Bhai Tihar which means the festival of the brother. The rituals are the same starting from the tika, to the food. Here the sisters also offer a garland of Gomphrena globosa to their brothers on this day.
What do Sisters do on Bhai Dooj?
On the day of Bhai Dooj, the sisters invite their brother to their home. The sisters sometimes keep a Vrat on the day. They put tilak on their brother’s forehead and pray for long healthy life. The brothers vow to protect their sister throughout the year and thus the ceremony is concluded. The sister then cooks a sumptuous meal with all his favourite dishes.
In some households, the sisters conduct Bhai Dooj puja and perform aarti in honour of their brothers as well. You can make online bookings for a panditji from Pujarambh.
Bhai Dooj 2022 will be celebrated on 26th October. The shubh Bhai Dooj Puja muhurat falls at 1.18 pm and ends at 3.33 pm the same day.