Bhai dooj: history and celebrations


In India mainly two festivals are celebrated to enjoy the true bond of affection between brother and sister, Raksha Bandhan and Bhai Dooj. The latter one is acknowledged as a counterpart of the former festival. Bhai Dooj falls in the month of Kartik month. This festival is celebrated on the day after Diwali.

Unique way of Celebration –

Brothers and sisters observe this day while performing some rituals. The second day after Diwali brings feelings of happiness and excitement for them. The brothers visit their married sisters on this day and do the Tikka ritual. The rite of tikka is performed while doing tilak on the forehead of brothers. Afterwards, the Aarti is done. Sisters do aarti and wish for the well being of their brothers. Then, brothers give gifts to the sisters. This festival is observed with great enthusiasm in Bengal, Bihar and Maharashtra. This day is called with different names in different regions of the country as Bhai Phonta and Bhai Beej. The sisters who do not have brothers worship Moon as their brothers and girls also apply Hina on their hands.

History of this day – 

It is believed that the sister of God of death Yamraj, Yamuna called her brother many times to visit her place. But he did not come. Fortunately he came on the second day of Shukla Paksh to her sister’s home. She got really happy and she hosted her brother with gratitude. She did aarti and put tilak on his head. She also presented numerous delicious food items before him. At the time of departure Yamraj asked her to bless her with boon. Then she wished that if you would come every year on the same day then this would be a great gift for her. So he promised her and from then on this day brothers visit their sisters and give them well wishes and gifts to show their love and care.

According to another belief, the Lord Krishana visited her sister Subhadra after vanishing one negative power in the guise of Narakasura. She also welcomed her with open heart and did aarti and tilak to him. The sister also fed him with delected food. So, this is also considered as a reason for celebrating this festival.

How this festival is different from Raksha Bandhan

This occasion is similar to Raksha Bandhan as it celebrates the bond of love between brothers and sisters. However, it is quite different from it in terms of observance. As brothers come to their sisters’ home and give them gifts and wishes. Sisters do not tie any thread on their wrists but do tilak and aarti of them and get return gifts in form of money or any precious tokens of love.

As a whole this day is extremely important for sisters and brothers because it strengthens this relationship and brings new life to it.

Writing credits – Mandeep