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About Bhai Dooj Celebration

About Bhai Dooj Celebration & Meaning

One of the most precious bonds of love is the bond that the siblings share. We all have grown up learning how to share and care for our siblings and how to always stand strong by each other and protect each other during difficult times.

Also, through our growing years, we have been listening to the stories about sibling bonding through books and also through religious books which mentioned the true affection and bonding between the Gods and their siblings. The day on which this bond of affection, care and love is celebrated is called ‘Bhai Dooj’.

On this day, brothers visit their sisters to ensure that they are well as a sign of protection and sweet-tempered bond between brother and sister. This caring tradition is indeed a beautiful celebration that marks the end of Diwali festival.

What & When is Bhai Dooj in 2023?

The special bond between brothers and sisters that have always been cherished and celebrated across the country is called ‘Bhai Dooj’. The meaning of Bhai Dooj is as follows. The word ‘Bhai’ means brother and the word ‘Dooj’ means the second day after the new moon, which is the day this festival is celebrated.

When Is Bhaiya Dooj This Year?

Bhai Dooj marks the end of the five-day-long Diwali celebrations which generally falls on the second day after the new moon or Amavasya of the Shukla Paksha in the Hindu month of Kartik. This year Bhai Dooj 2023 festival falls on Tuesday, 14th November 2023, the last day of Diwali festivities.

On this day, brothers visit their sisters to ensure they are doing well. In return, the sisters welcome their brothers by applying vermillion/tilak on their brothers’ forehead and pray for their well-being and long life, offering gifts to them. This traditional exchange of love and gifts rekindles the relationship between them.

The Bhai Dooj festival is known by many names across the country. In West Bengal it is called ‘Bhai Phota’, in Maharashtra and in Goa is called ‘Bhau Beej’, in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh it is known as ‘Bhai Tika’ and in the country of Nepal, it is known as ‘Bhai Tihar’.

The Story & Significance behind Bhai Dooj

The Bhai Dooj history dates back to the Vedic period where deities shared a beautiful bond of sibling love with their sisters. Bhai Dooj significance has been quoted in various ancient Scriptures. There are many legends associated with its story. One of which is the famous story of Lord Yamraj and His sister Yamuna.

Bhai Dooj StoryOne upon a time, Yamuna and Yama were twin siblings, Yamuna shared a close bond of love with Yamraj and it had been a long time since the two met. Yamuna is also known as Yami longed to see Her brother and wished that He would visit Her soon. Her prayers were answered and Yama visited Yami on the second day after the new moon day. Yamuna was happy and fed food to Lord Yamaraj with her own hands after the meal she applied a Tilak on His forehead and prayed for His long life. Overwhelmed by this gesture Yamaraj was touched and He asked His sister for a boon on which she replied stating that she wants Him (Yamaraj) to visit her every year and an individual whose sister applies Tilak on his forehead it must not fear death or Lord Yamaraj. Hearing such a beautiful wish Yamaraja was appeased and He granted her the boon. Since then the ritual of applying tilak on the forehead of the brother and praying for his longevity has become an integral part of Hinduism and is being celebrated even today as a festival all over the country.

Bhai Dooj SignificanceAnother Bhai Dooj story is that of Lord Krishna and his sister Subhadra. Once so happened, that Lord Krishna defeated demon Narkasur in the battlefield. On returning home, He (Lord Krishna) was warmly welcomed by His sister. She lit ghee diyas and made flower decorations to celebrate His victory. She then applied Tilak on His forehead and prayed for His long life. From that day onwards, it has become a ritual that sisters apply ‘Tilak’ on the forehead of their brothers and in return, the brothers offer gifts and sweets to the sisters.

The significance of distinct cultural Bhai Dooj traditions that vary by region in India is shown in the festivities as how Bhai Dooj it is carried out. These rituals help to keep the family close and provides wealth, happiness, and good fortune.

How to Celebrate Bhai Dooj Rituals

Bhai Dooj Rituals

This divine day is the perfect time where siblings get together and perform the Bhai Dooj festival between thus, strengthening the bond of togetherness and care. Traditionally, since ages on the occasion of Bhai Dooj a brother visits his sister’s house and the sister then performs the tilak ceremony and prays for his long life. After the ceremony, she feeds him with Indian cuisine delicacies.

The brother in return surprises her with gifts and sweets. All this traditional ceremony begins with Aarti after the arrival of the brother at home. Another tradition that is followed on Bhai Dooj is worshipping the coconuts and then presented to the brother by the sister. In this case, the sister also goes on to apply tilak on her brother’ forehead and feed him handmade tasty savories. She also gives her brother blessings for long and content life. As mentioned earlier, this is followed by the exchange of gifts between the brothers and sisters.

All Bhai Dooj rituals and pooja are performed in the common puja room or on the same pedestal that was adorned for Diwali pooja. Along with the coconut, the sisters adorn their puja thali with mithai, batashas, roli, and rice. They ignite the puja lamp and carry out all of the procedures. The Diya's holy flame is a symbol of sisterly love that protects the brother from all evil and difficulties in life.

After the pooja is completed by all family members, the sister places the Tilak on her brother's forehead. She offers him a couple or more eatables as well as the coconut after applying tilak. It is important to notice that this is not a quickly performed procedure despite its simplicity, but at contrary, all the members of the family participate on it and as said, quality time is spent between brother and sister in a memorable manner where photos of both are usually taken.

Those married ladies who live near to their parents' home usually come and greet their brother early in the morning. Those who live far away either go for a few days to see her brother or show their love and blessings by sending greeting cards or e-cards with their best wishes to them.

After all of the Bhai Dooj ceremonies are completed, brothers lavish their sisters with the most unforgettable presents. During Bhai Dooj, the female of the home is usually given clothing, utensils, and a lot of mithai and fruits.This festival is quite similar to the festival of Raksha Bandhan. The festival of Bhai Dooj also gives a chance to family members and relatives to meet each other and spend some great and quality time together till their heart is content and happy.

Bhai Dooj Puja Vidhi

The hallmark of Bhai Dooj is the ceremonial tilak known as Bhai Tika and Aarti that the sister does for her brother. Now that we have gotten the importance and significance of Bhai Dooj, we’ll see how to make Bhai Dooj and particularly, how to do Bhai Dooj pooja and when is Bhai Phota and Bhai Phota mantra, too.
Below is a step-by-step formal procedure to perform this puja:

Bhai Duj Puja Vidhi
  • In the morning after having a bath and dressing up in her festive finery, the sister prepares the puja thali with a Diya, roli, Chandan and sweets.
  • Then she has her brother seated for the tilak ceremony.
  • She then applies the tilak on his forehead as a mark of protection and hands him a coconut. She then performs the aarti for him and chants the mantras for his long life and well-being.
  • She now offers him a sweet. In case the brother is married, the sister can also apply tilak on her sister-in-law’s forehead.
  • In case the brother has children, sisters can include their nieces and nephews in the ceremony.
  • She can also prepare a meal for your brother and his family and eat together to celebrate her love.

NOTE: If a woman does not have a brother, she worships and offers prayers to Chandra Dev, the Moon-God. If your brother stays far away making it impossible for you to visit him, you can still pray to the Chandra Dev for his long life.

When you are looking for Bhai Dooj gifts, try to find something your sister will need and will appreciate. It could be spiritual items that attract love, harmony and good luck in the house and energize her surroundings. The spirit of Bhai Dooj is all about strengthening family ties and relationships in modern fast-paced life. So enjoy this day with your loved ones and let them know that you care for them.

Bhai Dooj Puja Samagri

This comprises the following items as essentials, however as it is an intimate in-house celebration other Indian cuisine dishes are also prepared and offered.

Aarti Thali. Kumkum. Chandan. Ghee Lamp. Akshat. Roli. Coconut and sweets.

Bhai Dooj Mantra

भ्ृतूस तबा ग्रजाताहां
भुंकसा भक्तामीड़म शुवाँ प्रीटाए
यामा राजस्यअमुनाह विशेषत ||
In West Bengal, Bhai Dooj is popularly known as Bhai Phonta, which is widely celebrated with great splendor. Many ceremonies are performed at the event, as well as a big feast prepared for the brothers. It is required that both brothers and sisters to be at least 5 years old. Bhai Phonta is celebrated two days after Kali Puja, also marking the end of Diwali celebrations as in other regions of India too.

Bengali Bhai Phota Mantra

Bhaier kapale dilam phonta,
Jamer Duare porlo kanta,
Jamuna Dae Jomke phonta,
Ami di amar bhaike phonta,
Bhai jeno hoy lohar vata ||

English Translation:

I put a "phota" on my brother's forehead
To make my brother immortal
"Yamuna" gives a "phota" to "Yam"
I give a "phota" to my brother.
Brother may become tough as iron.

Difference Between Bhai Dooj And Raksha Bandhan

The festivals of Bhai Dooj and Raksha Bandhan are quite similar to each other. On the occasion of Bhai Dooj, the brother visits the house of his sister and the ceremony begins by performing an Aarti, on this day the sister also offers prayers and offerings to the coconut and gifts the coconut to the brother. After this ritual, the Tilak ceremony is performed. And after the tilak ceremony, the sister feeds sweets to her brother and then the brother offers her gifts in return.

Whereas, in Raksha Bandhan, the sister visits the brother and as mentioned above performs aarti as well, and then ties a Holy thread called Rakhi on the right wrist of her brother and in return the brother gives her a gift in return.

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