Bhai Dooj or Bhai Tika or Bhaubeej is a festival celebrated by Hindus on the second lunar day of Shukla Paksha (bright fortnight) as per the Vikram Samvat Hindu calendar or of Shalivahan Shaka calendar month of Kartika. It is observed during the Diwali or Tihar festival and Holi festival. Bhai Dooj is similar to that of Raksha Bandhan; here, the sisters give gifts to their brothers. In the southern part of India, the day is celebrated as Yama Dwitiya.
As per the Hindu mythology, it is celebrated concerning Lord Krishna’s visiting his sister Subhadra. She welcomes him and applies tilak on his forehead and also offers flowers and sweets after he slays the demon Narkasur.
Another myth says that the day is celebrated for the God of Death, Yama, as he visits his sister, Yami also know as the Yamuna who puts a tilak on his forehead.
On this day Lord Mahavir attained Moksha. His brother, King Nandivardhan, was distressed because Mahavira left the kingdom.
Let me give you some interesting facts about this festival.
- Bhai Dooj consists of 2 words Bhai – Brother and Dooj – 2nd day, the second day after the full moon.
- It actually falls on the fifth day of Diwali celebration and marks the end.
- In Nepal, this is the second most important festival after Vijaya Dashami and is known as Bhai Tikain. Sisters offer prayers Yamraj and wish for her brother’s long life and prosperity.
- Geographical names of Bhai Dooj :
(a) In West Bengal, this festival is known as Bhai Phota where sisters offer prayers to Yamraj and chants mantras
(b) In Gujarat, Maharastra, Goa (Konkani) and Karnataka it is known as Bhai Beej or Bhau Beej or Bhai Bij.
(c) In Manipur, it is known as Ningol Chakuba
(d) Other names for this festival are Bhatru Dhwithiya or Bhatri Ditya. It is also called Yama Divitiya, wherein Yama (God of death) and his sister Yami met
During Bhai Dooj sister pray for their brother’s long life and prosperity and brother’s gifts sister’s with gifts. A beautiful celebration to strengthen the bond between brother and sister.