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Bhai Dooj festival - Festival For Brothers and Sisters

 Bhai Dooj | Festival For Brothers and Sisters

There is a strong bond of love between brothers and sisters. In India, Hindus celebrate the relationship of brothers and sisters twice in a year and the name of these festivals are ‘Raksha Bandhan’ and ‘Bhai Dooj’.

Bhai Dooj comes on the fifth day of Diwali. Diwali comes on new moon night every year and meaning of word ‘Dooj’ means the second day after new moon. Meaning of word ‘Bhai’ is brother and therefore the name of festival is ‘Bhai Dooj’.

On this day, sisters show their love for their brothers by putting tilak on their forehead. They also perform aarti of their brothers to show them a light of holy flame which will save them from all evils. Brothers give gifts and goodies to their sisters.

Legends and Myths:
Bhai Dooj is also known by the name of ‘Yama Dwiteeya’. According to mythology, on this day, Yamraj who is the lord of death visits her sister Yami who puts a tilak on his head. So, it is said that any brother who gets a tilak from her sister on her head on this day will never go to hell.

According to one other legend, Lord Krishna after killing a demon named Narakasura went to his sister Subhadra who welcomed him with flowes and by putting a tilak on his forehead.

Another story related to origin of Bhai Dooj is related to Lord Mahavir. When lord Mahavir who was the founder of Jainism, attained nirvana, his brother Nandivardhan got unhappy and was given strength by her sister Sudarshana. Since then all sisters have been respected on the day of ‘Bhai Dooj.

Bhai Dooj Messages:
In a country like India, people give top priority to relationships. Owing to this, several customs and festivals are seen for celebrating those relationships and for demonstrating ram-navamithat there is a lot of importance associated with those in life. All relationships represent  a promise and these promises are given new heights with festivals.

One such festival is Bhai Dooj. This is specially for brothers and sisters for making them understand how strong, sweet and significant the relations are. This festival is symbolic of the relationship between a brother and a sister, the promises that they make, the emotional attachment and love.

People all across the globe celebrate this festival. After celebration of Diwali for 5 long days, this festival commemorates on the 5th day. The sisters follow the trend of giving Teeka on the forehead of brothers, doing the Aarti and offering prayers for the well being of brothers. Gifts are given to sisters and brothers also give a promise to give complete protection to them always. For women who are not having brothers, worshipping the Moon as God, is an option.

In different states, this festival is known by different names. Somewhere it is known as Bhatri Dwitiva, somewere Bhatru Dwithiya and somewhere as Bhai Tika. All sisters and brothers eagerly look forward to celebrate this auspicious day. On this day, men living far away from their sisters send them Bhai Dooj messages. On this day, brothers are served with various delicious snacks and sweets. Sisters prepare special lunch dishes for their brothers. Overall, the festival is celebrated in a joyous mood. Actually with this occasion, the relationship between brother and sister is strengthened. One can take the help of internet if he or she wants to send some good Bhai Dooj messages to each other.

When it comes to Bhatri Dwitiya, there is a controversy which surrounds it. It is believed by some that this festival is associated with Lord Krishna as he came to the home of his sister Subhadra after he killed Nakasur, the devil. He was given a warm welcome with Aarti, tika and sweets. Some other people that it is associated with Yama, the God of death and Yami, his sister. It is of interest to kow that while putting Teeka to brother’s forehead, a sister will usually chant a poem which relates to her and wishes her brother a prosperous and long life.

This festival is in midst of a festive season and adds to the excitement of people. During this time, the social networking sites are flooded with Bhai Dooj messages and markets are filled with gifts.

Bhaidooj Greetings The Story, Significance and Rituals

What is the reason and the story behind Bhaidooj greetings?

Some festivals commemorate the birth of a saviour, some commemorate changes in the weather, but most are about celebrating the victory of good over evil. Diwali, also called Deepavali, the festival of lights, is one such festival. It commemorates the slaying of Narakasura by Krishna and his wife Satyabhama. It also celebrates the defeat of the Asura King Mahabali by Lord Vishnu in the Vamana avatar.

Diwali celebrations last for five days, with each day having its own prominence and significance. The first is Dhanteras, second is Narak Chaturdashi, third is Lakshmi Puja, fourth is Bali Pratipada and the fifth and last day is Bhaidooj. It is known by different names in different states – Bhaubeej, Tikka, BhaiPhota, and so on, and the rituals vary slightly. But the underlying theme is the celebration of the love between brothers and sisters. Sisters seek to protect their brothers with their love and prayers, and brothers bless them and vow to be there for the sisters when they need their help.

The legend behind this particular Diwali celebration is that long long ago, Yama the God of Death, visited his sister Yamuna on the second Shukla Paksha of the Kartik fortnight and blessed her. He decreed that those who visited her on that particular day would have their slate of sins wiped clean, and would escape the agony of hell.

Since then, brothers have visited their sisters on this day (according to the Hindu calendar), to ask after them, bless them and shower them with gifts and exchange Bhaidooj greetings. This tradition stands to this day, and brothers look forward to the day they can visit their sisters’ homes and be pampered by them. For if sisters receive gifts from their brothers, they in turn pamper them with sumptuous dinners and sweets, and pray for their welfare and safety.

Even if the distances are too great to make actually visiting each other impossible, brothers and sisters find ways to exchange greetings and gifts. Now thanks to the internet and Smart phones, nobody is ever too far away. With instant messaging and chatting apps, loved ones are just a few taps or clicks away.

The modern way of sending Bhaidooj greetings and gifts is thru e-cards, online gifting sites and mail order services. Sending gifts to sisters or brothers who are miles away is super easy with these options. You can purchase sweets, hampers, diyas, pujathalis and so on online and have them shipped to your sibling. There are sites that specialize in shipping to the US, Canada and UK, as these countries have a sizable Indian population.

The Bhaidooj Story
Diwali, the festival of lights, has many stories associated with it like that of Krishna killing Narakasura, or Vamana defeating Mahabali. Though the underlying moral is the triumph of good over evil, there are slight variations.

The Bhaidooj Story:-
The fifth and last day is celebrated as a day of sibling love. Brothers and sisters get together, eat sweets, perform rituals and exchange gifts.

So how did this day come to be celebrated in this manner? What is the story behind this particular ritual?

Yama, the god of death, visited his sister Yamuna, on the second ShuklaPaksha in the Kartik fortnight. He granted her a boon that whoever visited her on that day would be liberated from their sins, and achieve ‘moksha’ (final emancipation).

With this began the custom of brothers visiting their sisters on this day to enquire about their welfare, give them heir blessings and gifts, and dine together. IT is believed that men who visit their sisters on this day will be protected from their love, and will never be thrown into naraka, or hell.Thus started the custom of Bhaidooj. It is also called Yama Dwiteeya.

Known as tikka in Punjab, Bhaiphota in Bengal and Bhaubeej in Maharashtra, Bhaidooj is celebrated in slightly different ways though basically it is about sisters performing aarti for their brothers and receiving gifts.

In Punjab, sisters apply a paste of rice and saffron to their brothers’ foreheads, for warding off evil. In UP, brothers are gifted flax garlands with sugar candy (batashas) woven into them, for the same reason. In Bengal, the sister fasts and prays for her brother’s long and healthy life. She performs a puja with diyas and incense, offers him food and sweets and mark with sandalwood paste on his forehead. In Maharashtra, the sister massages the brother’s head and limbs with oil and applies fragrant ugtan, and bathes him, and then performs the aarti. In Bihar sisters curse their brothers to keep evil at bay.

Another Bhaidooj story has it that when Mahavir, who established Jainism, attained Nirvana, his brother, the King Nanivardhan missed him greatly and was in dire distress. At this time, only his sister Sudarshana was able to comfort and calm him. And since that incident, sisters have been revered on this day.

The underlying significance is the stress on maintaining family ties. It is a way of letting the sister know that even if she is married and in her home and with a new family, her brothers and parents care about her welfare. In olden times, women did not work and so did not have a source of income. Such occasions enabled them to receive some money, gold or other gifts from their families.

Innovative BhaiDooj Gifts
The fifth and last day of Diwali, the second ShuklaPaksha of the Kartik fortnight, is teachersdaycelebrated as  a day of the love between brothers and sisters. In different parts of the country it is called Bhaidooj, Bhaubeej, BhaiPhota, Tikka , and also Yam Dwiteeya.

Legend has it that it is on this day that Yama the god of death, visited his sister Yamuna. He blessed her, and decreed that whoever visited her on that day would be absolved of his sins and be protected from getting hurled into hell. And so, the tradition of brothers visiting their sisters to enquire after them and offer them Bhaidooj gifts, began.

It was also a way in olden times for a woman to have her own money. Then, women did not go out to earn a living and had no control over finances. Such occasions ensured that they could have a little money of their own to spend as they liked.

Therefore the traditional Bhaidooj gift used to be money. Even today, there are some sisters who prefer to receive money rather than gifts.

However times have changed and most women have their own careers. Yet the tradition continues. But the gifts have now become more sophisticated. Sisters also give gifts to their brothers, so it is more of a gift exchange.

If you are stumped wondering what gifts to give your sibling, check out these ideas.
Perfume and cosmetics are gifts most women would love to receive. Nowadays you have the option of purchasing even foreign brands from departmental stores. Around the festive season, special offers are available, as well as gift hampers, like a combination of perfume, lotion and soap, for example.

Scented and floating candles also make a great gift for sisters. You can buy aromatherapy candles with diffusers. These help in relaxation.

Is your sister (or your brother, if you’re a sister who wants to gift him back) a bookworm? Books are a great gift to give for such people. If you are unsure of what they have read, you can always present them with a gift coupon which they can redeem for books of their choice.

Chocolates always work for both brothers and sisters. The stores are already flooded with specially packages for the festive season.

Handbags. No matter how many your sister has, she will always love to get another one. Clutchjes, totes, slingbags- there is a wide range to choose from.

If you’re feeling particularly rich, gift her a price of jewellery, or a watch. You can be sure that she will love you all the more for it!

Best Bhaidooj gift from your sister’s point of view (but may not be yours!) – Take her shopping. Let her buy what she wants, especially if it is a dress. Better she picks it out herself.

Bhaidooj Celebration Rituals

Bhaidooj Celebration is held on the second day of Shukla Paksha, in the bright Kartik fortnight.

Bhaidooj Rituals :
diawaliDiwali, the festival of lights is perhaps the most important festival for Indians. It is a 5 day Lakshmilong celebration with sweets, fireworks, gifts, new clothes and a lot of joy. The first day is LakshmiDhanteras, an auspicious day to buy gold and other metals. The second is Narak chaturdashi, celebrating Krishna’s slaying of Narakasura. The third is Lakshmi Puja where the goddess of wealth is worshipped. The fourth day is Bali Pratipada or Padwa. It commemorates the event of King Mahabali sent to Patala (the nether world) by Lord Vishnu in the form of Vamana the midget Brahmin. It is the Gujrati New Year, and the day when husbands bless their wives and give them gifts in Maharashtra.

Now we come to the last, the fifth day. This is the day that sisters pray for the welfare of their brothers, asking God to grant them a long life and keep them safe from evil and disease. The brothers in turn visit their sisters’ homes to inquire about their welfare, bless their sisters and give them gifts. It is called Bhaidooj in UP, MP, and other Hindi speaking states, Tikka in Punjab, Bhau-Bij in Maharashtra and BhaiPhota in Bengal.

While the rituals of Bhaidooj Celebration may vary from state to state there are some commonalities as well.

The main aspects are the sister performing an aarti (circling a thali with a diya  in front of the face), applying tilak and rice on the brother’s forehead, and touching his feet if he is older. The brother then offers gifts to the sister.

In Uttar Pradesh, the sister gits each brother a flax garland dotted with batashas (round flat sugar candy), and performs aarti with application of tilak to keep evil at bay.

In Bihar, there is a custom of the sisters cursing their brothers at the start of the day. This is meant to ward off evil that may be around him. After showering the choicest of curses on them, the sisters then prick their tongues with some thorny fruit, and ask their brothers for forgiveness. They then eat bajra grains from the sister’s hands, and drink some water.

In Punjab, sisters make a paste of saffron and rice and apply it to their brothers’ foreheads on Bhaidooj day.

In Bengal, sisters fast for their brothers wellbeing, and then apply a phota or sandalwood paste on his forehead, and offer them sweets. A puja with diyas, incence and aarti is also performed.

In Maharashtra, sisters bathe their brothers in the morning after applying oil to their heads and limbs. After bathing or in the evening, they perform an aarti for the brothers and offer them sweets. The brothers gift their sisters with money or clothes (traditionally).

Strengthen the bonding with your brother by sending exclusive Bhai Dooj quotes !
Bhai-Dooj has gained a lot of popularity and Hindus celebrate it with lots of fervor and pomp. This festival is also known as Bhau Beej or Bhai Phota. This festival is celebrated in the Kartika month on the 2nd day of Shukla Paksha. On this auspicious day, Teelaka is put on brother’s forehead and prayers are offered for his prosperous and long life. As per the trend, exchanging gifts and feasting are important elements of this festival. If you are away from your sibling on this festival, then make them delighted and send gifts to them. Also send some good Bhai Dooj quotes to make them happy and feel loved.

Today, the task of sending gifts has become very easy as there are many e-gifting portals available. Since there are many proficient online stores, gifts can be sent easily to any part of the globe. On these portals, exclusive and unique gifts are portrayed and showcased. Since these are categorized systematically, it would help to select the best ones. As you know this festival is approaching soon, start shopping and collecting excellent quotes for your dear siblings.

By sending mouthwatering sweets, happiness and good luck can be wished to loved ones. Indian sweets are said to have unique flavors and be tasty. In the sweets section, various sweets can be availed such as mewa sweets, motichoor laddu, gujiya and peda. One can also buy kaju diamond, kaju suraj and kaju gujia. Some good Bhai Dooj quotes along with a box of delicious sweets would surely make your brother’s day.  The taste of sweets is palatable and would definitely make the siblings smile.

When you talk about gifting, apparels are just perfect. Various types can be availed from stores nearby. If you wish to see your brother in a trendy and smart look, opt for jeans.  Charm can be added to the personality and look of your brother by sending exclusive perfumes and watches.

Bhai Dooj Quotes:
Moreover, if you don’t believe in materialistic things, then here are some good quotes to make your brother’s day a memorable one:

> Near of far wherever you are, My best wishes are with you, Tum jiyo hazaron saal, May success & joy be yours everyday, Yehi hai meri wish dil se! Happy Bhai Dooj

> God sent in my life a beautiful Angel in your guise, Sister. In good times or bad ones, you’re ready to extend your help and support. Thanks for all you do. Happy Bhai Dooj

> Bhai Dooj is just an excuse for me to express myself: You mean the world to me. Happy Bhai Dooj to my SWEET BROTHER

> You can understand the things I never said. You can understand the pain which is not visible to anyone. You Are The Best Brother. Happy Bhai Dooj To You..!!

Bhai Dooj : The Festival of care, love and affection
Bhai Dooj is a very famous festival that the Hindus celebrate on the 5th day of Diwali. It usually falls in the Kartik month on ‘Shukla Pakha Dwityiyaa’. Usually, the end of Diwali is marked by this festival. The occasion has gained a lot of popularity among people all across the globe. It is known with different names like Bhav Bij in Maharashtra, Bhai Dooja in North India, Bhai Teeka in Nepal and Bhai Phota in Bengal. The affection and love of sisters and brothers is indicated by this event. On this day, Tilak is put on the brother’s forehead by sisters and sweets are given to them. Usually, a sister offers her prayers for the well being and long life of her brother. Sisters who cannot meet their brothers owing to the distance issue can send some good Bhai dooj SMS, to make them happy.

Bhai Dooj Pooja and Rituals :
Just like other festivals, even this festival has a story associated with it.  On this day, the God of death, Yama, went to his sister’s home after a very long time. Out of excitement, he was given a warm welcome by Yami, his sister. A mark of good luck was put on his forehead. They both shared a meal together. The affection, love and welcome of his sister thrilled him. Then he proudly gave a blessing that on this particular day that if a sister puts a Tilak on brother’s forehead, nothing can harm him.  Since then, this tradition has started. In Maharashtra, there is a trend that a sister who is far away from her brother can worship Moon God for the long life of her brother.

On this day which is considered to be quite auspicious, Pooja is performed by sisters for the good life and safety of their brothers. In return, they get gifts from their brothers as a token of love. This is the day to give gifts and share food. Sisters and brothers send Bhai Dooj SMS to each other.

This occasion is symbolized with hearts full of friendliness, care, invaluable gifts, pure prayers, new clothes and delicious food.  Some important points are suggested by the astrologers before performing the Puja. These include:

Waking up before sunrise and getting ready for doing the Puja
Performing the Puja before noon
Decorating the Puja thali with nariyal, money, gifts, sweets and roli
Brothers should remember of keeping a handkerchief on their had and must face towards the East West direction.
Brother should go to his sister’s house wherein she will put a Tilak on his forehead and would pray for his prosperity and long life.

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