By: Vinod Chandrashekhar Dixit
After Diwali, a few festivals are celebrated to mark the week of festivities and joy. They differ from region to region around the country. All festivals have their own historical benefits and Bhai Dooj is also celebrated on a special day. Bhai Dooj, one of the most awaited festivals of sisters. They eagerly wait for two occasions, one is Raksha Bandhan and the other one is Bhai Dooj. It is a festival of love, protection, and to strengthen the bondage of a brother and sister. Bhai Dooj or Bhaiya Dooj is a Hindu festival celebrating the unconditional love bond between a brother and a sister. Bhai Dooj defines the eternal love between siblings, dedicated to strengthening the bond between them. The occasion falls on the last day of the five day long celebrations of Diwali or Tihar festival. It is also celebrated as “Yama Dwitiya” in the southern parts of India. There is a unique understanding between a brother and a sister. They are the best friends of each other, protectors of each other, admirers of each other, secret sharers of each other and has unconditional love for each other. The festival of Bhai Dooj has a literal meaning attached to it. ‘Bhai’ means brother and ‘Dooj’ means the second day after the new moon which is a day of celebration. The correct muhurta is very necessary for celebrating any occasion because it gives an accurate time for a special ceremony.
Bhai Dooj is celebrated in different parts of the country with different rituals and has various folklores associated with it. There are few Hindu mythological based stories related to the origin of this auspicious day. According to the one legend, Lord Krishna visited his sister, Subhadra after killing demon Narkasur. Her sister gave a warm welcome to him and made the occasion really special through flowers and sweets. Subhadra also applied the ceremonial “tilak” on the forehead of her brother, Krishna and hence the festival of “Bhai Dooj” was born from there.
Another legend revolves around the story of Yama, the God of Death and his sister Yamuna. It is believed that he met his beloved sister on Dwitheya, the second day after the new moon and thus the occasion began to be celebrated as “Yamadwitheya” or “Yamadvitiya” across the country from that day.
On this day, the rituals comprise of bathing in the Yamuna and worshipping Yamaraja. Also, as per tradition, a brother visits the house of his sister and eats food cooked and served by her. On this day, the entire ceremony revolves around the siblings vowing to protect each other from all kinds of evil. In some parts of the country, the sister cooks a delicious meal for her brother and gets sweets for him as well. They also perform ‘aarti’ for them and place a ‘tika’ on their brother’s forehead, to ward off evil and bless them with countless happiness. There are different festivals celebrated in India and each of them has its own Importance. Some of them are for celebrating and some for strengthening the bonds.
Bhai Dooj – A brother is a friend given by Nature
By: Vinod Chandrashekhar Dixit