So you’ve been reading our entries on the celebration rituals of festivals and occasions lately? Continuing along the vein, we’re going for a new entrant into the series titled ‘How to Celebrate Bhai-Dooj’. Read along for the tricks and trades of the Bhai-Dooj.
The Origin & Legends
As the legend goes by, Bhai-Dooj marks the occasion when Yamaraj, the Lord of Death and the profound Custodian of Hell visited his sister Yami who prayed for his wellbeing. It’s why some fractions offer the name Yamadvitiya for the occasion. Another legend that’s been in and around is that Lord Krishna visited his sister Subhadra after slaying the demon Narakasura. Subhadra marked the occasion by portaging Tilak on the forehead of Lord Krishna and proceeded to welcome him with holy lamps, sweets, and flowers.
Significance of Bhai-Dooj
Bhai-Dooj is celebrated in regions across North India and in the neighboring nation Nepal. The occasion is marked as Bhai-Tika in Nepal and a public holiday is awarded in celebration. The festival is also known as Bhai-Phonta in Bengal. The occasion marks that any brother who is blessed with Tika from his sister will never be hurled to death.
The auspicious date
Bhai-Dooj is celebrated on the fifth day of Diwali or Tihar and marks the time of the second day of bright fortnight of the lunar month of Kartik according to the Hindu calendar. For the auspicious date of 2016, the festival is going to be celebrated on 1st of November of this year.
Celebration Rituals along with How to Celebrate Bhai-Dooj
- The day usually begins with brothers visiting sister’s place and having a meal after the rituals over there.
- The brothers offer gifts and token with their sisters in the markup to the occasion.
- It a man doesn’t have a real sister, he can visit any female cousin or any women who are regarded as a sister and can bestow the rituals there.
- The ritual involves lighting up of Diyas and offering prayers to Yamaraj for the longevity of brother’s life.
- The sisters prepare a seat for the brothers to sit upon and offers chants and mantras along with the application of offerings and Tilak.
- It is also advised to attend the meal at sister’s place on the day of Bhai-Dooj rather than at own place.
Celebrated as Bhai-Phonta
- The Bengali community marks the occasion as Bhai-Phonta and celebrate it in splendor.
- The ceremony included rituals along with a grand feast offered to brothers.
Celebrated as Bhai-Tika
- The festival is celebrated as Bhai-Tika in the country of Nepal where sisters perform rituals for brothers in prayers to Lord Yamaraj.
- The prayers are believed to revive the lives of brothers and offer prosperity and longevity to the life of brothers.
- Sisters put Tika on the forehead of the brothers that’s marked in seven colors and is famed as seven-color Tika. They offer garlands of Globe Amaranth (Makhmali) to brothers.
- The garland never dies or fades away which marks the longevity of brother’s life.
Revered as Bhai Bij
- The communities along Haryana, Maharashtra, Goa and Gujarat have long followed the occasion as Bhai Bij.
- The day marks the coming together of brother and sister along with get-together of the family.
- Rituals are performed by sisters on behalf of brothers while the brothers trade in gifts and token in exchange.
Worshipping Deity Yamaraj
- Bhai-Dooj also marks the occasion when Yamaraj, the Lord of Death and the profound Custodian of Hell is worshipped in a bid to prevent untimely death.
- The ritual goes along as an offering of ‘Tarpan’ to be bid adieu to Yamaraj while chanting his fourteen names. The ritual averts untimely death.
Bhai Dooj or Bhai Tika is an auspicious occasion in the Hindu culture and is marked as a coming together of brother and sister. The festival helps strengthen the bond between them and unifies the moment.
We hope you were intrigued upon by the post. We shall be back with more the next time around. Adios.