Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Bhai Dooj: The Sacred Bond Of Brother-Sister

Bhai Dooj is a festival to celebrate and honor the beautiful relationship of brother and sister. This is a very lovely ritual where brothers are treated with delicious food prepared by sisters and then exchange of gifts take place. A perfect way to end the five days celebration of Diwali. Read on to know more about this festival... 

celebrating bhai dooj

Rituals Performed On Bhai Dooj

Bhai Dooj is a very special occasion for any girl who has a brother; as this day gives a chance to show the love and respect they have for one another. Women who are married invite their brother home for a sumptuous meal and Tilak (vermillion mark) ceremony. This ritual involves women doing Aarti of her brother followed by a Tilak on the forehead and getting his blessing by touching the feet (if elder). Then gifts are exchanged between the two. 

Women who do not have brother or is living far away from him, worship the Moon instead. Moon is fondly called as Chanda Mama for this very reason. Chanda means Moon and Mama means mother’s brother. There are many legends associated with this festival, like the two mentioned below. 

Legend Associated With Bhai Dooj

Bhai Dooj is also known as Yama Dwitiya for its association with this legend. It is on this auspicious day that, Yama (the God of death) visits his sister who welcomes him by putting a Tilak on his forehead. He is then treated to a delicious meal and then offered Aarti for his well being. According to the beliefs, whoever receives a Tilak from his sister on this day, will get pardoned from hell. 

Another legend associated with Bhai Dooj is that when Lord Krishna returned home after defeating demon Narakasur, he was welcomed by his sister Subhadra, who applied Tilak on his forehead and prayed for his well being. 

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Celebration Of Bhai Dooj- Region Wise

  1. In Bengal, Bhai Dooj is celebrated as “Bhai Phota”. This ritual involves sisters fasting for the whole day until they apply sandalwood paste on the brother’s forehead. 
  2. In Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka, this festival is celebrated by the name Bhai Bij, Bhau Beej or Bhav Bij.
  3. In Nepal, this is the second biggest festival celebrated after Vijaya Dashami. In Nepal, this festival is called as Bhai Tika. 
  4. In Manipal, this festival is celebrated by the name Ningol Chakuba. Here too, this culture and the bond is treated very sacred. 

May this Festival of Bhai Dooj make the sacred bond of brother and sister even more stronger. AstroSage wishes you a very Happy Bhai Dooj!

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