Bhai Dooj is an Indian festival, celebrated as a way of Raksha Bandhan and enhances the same pious bond between siblings. On this prosperous day, Indian women worship for the long life and happiness of their brothers and they apply tilak on the forehead of their brothers while praying for their longevity, well-being and good health.
In return, men give gifts to their sisters and take a vow to protect them from any evil or obstacles. Bhai Dooj or Bhaiya Dooj is observed on the second day after Deepawali, Bhai Dooj is known by many other names in different states such as Bhau Beej, Bhai Bij, Bhai Beej, Bhatru Dwitiya, Bhav Bij, Bhatri Ditya, Bhai Phota, Bhai Fota and Bhai Tikka.
Bhai Dooj 2023 is observed on the second lunar day of Shukla Paksha according to the Vikram Samvat calendar. In 2023, Bhai Dooj will be marked on 14th November (Tuesday).
Significance of Bhai Dooj
There is a belief that after the death of the demon Narakasura on the day which is now celebrated as Diwali, Lord Krishna met his sister Subhdhra with lots of love and gifts for her, on the other hand, she lit ghee diyas and decorated the entire with flowers and diyas.
She welcomes him with a tilak on his forehead and in return receives precious gifts from her brother. In this context, it becomes a ritual that the sister applies tilak on her brother’s forehead and prays for their fortune and welfare.
However, there is no text stating or an official story regarding the emergence or beginning of the Bhaiya dooj celebration. People have different tales and beliefs and thus celebrate them with immense enthusiasm in their families. The belief varies from region to region, where people have various significance and history related to Bhai Tikka.
How to celebrate Bhai Dooj?
The celebration of Bhai Dooj and always on the top list of favourite festivals of siblings. Devotees take a bath early in the morning and worship Yama, Lord Ganesha, Chitragupta, Yamuna and the many messengers of Yama. There are several mantras that are chanted during the time of worshipping the idols.
The festival of Bhai Dooj is traditionally celebrated across the country. On this auspicious occasion, sisters prepare a beautiful seat for their brothers using rice flour. As the brother sits on the seat, a paste of vermillion, dahi and rice is applied on the forehead of the brothers as a religious tika by keeping a hanky or another pure piece of cloth on their head.
Furthermore, the sister places a flower of Kaddu, betel leaves, betel nuts and coins in the palms of the brother and pours water on it while chanting mantras. Furthermore, a Kalawa or auspicious Hindu thread is tied on the wrist of the brother and the aarti happens. The next ritual or culture is to exchange gifts among each other and take the blessings of the elders. Praying for the best together.
During Bhai Dooj, giving brothers a dry coconut is regarded as a lucky charm. It is said that after defeating the demon King Narakasura, Lord Krishna went to see his sister Subhadra, who showered him with gifts, flowers, and candies. Krishna was then given the dry coconut by her after she had tilak applied to his forehead.
Most of all, the brothers surprise their sister with unforgettable gifts and make the entire day beautiful by preparing and eating tasty foods and sweets and spending time together. This festival also brings the family or relatives together and gives them the opportunity to spend quality time together and make another memory which is slightly difficult in modern day rush. With those celebrations, people acquire happiness and contentment.