Bhai Dooj is one of the most awaited Hindu festivals known as 'Bhai Phonta', 'Bhai Tika', 'Bhau Beej', and 'Yamadwitiya'. This festival is celebrated with great zeal all over India as well as in Nepal.
Bhai Dooj comes after the Diwali festival and is celebrated enthusiastically across India. Bhai Dooj marks the bond between brother and sister, where the sister prays for her brother's long life, and in return, the brother gives them gifts.
According to the Vikram Samvat calendar, Bhai Dooj is observed on the second lunar day of Kartik Shukla Dwitiya Paksha. Meanwhile, as per the Gregorian calendar, the festival falls in October or November.
Therefore, Bhai Dooj in 2023 will be celebrated on 14 and 15 November, i.e., Tuesday and Wednesday, as Kartik Shukla Dwitiya Paksha falls on both days. The festival is celebrated on the second day after Diwali.
According to mythology, on the day of Bhai Dooj, Yamraj went to meet his sister Yami. Yami welcomed her brother Yamraj by applying Tilak on his forehead and prepared various dishes.
In return, Yamraj was pleased and blessed his sister Yami. This is the fact that on this day, the sister should welcome the brother by performing aarti and tilak as it protects him from the evil eye.
Bhai Dooj holds a special significance for Hindus and is celebrated enthusiastically across India, including Maharashtra, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, and Delhi.
Bhai Dooj is also known by different names in different regions of India, with variations in tradition and customs.
In northern India, it is known as Bhai Dooj, in Maharashtra and Gujarat, it is known as Bhau Beej and in Bengal, it is known as Bhai Phonta, and the festival is similar to Raksha Bandhan.
In Maharashtra, the sister makes a square, inside which the brother has to sit, and meanwhile, the sister eats a bitter fruit called karith. Then the sister performs aarti by applying Tilak on her brother's forehead and prays for the brother's welfare.
The traditions and rituals in West Bengal differ slightly from other parts of India. Firstly, a puja thali is prepared with many things, including sweets, flowers, rice and sandalwood.
Then the sister applies sandalwood on the brother's forehead, and aarti is performed with durva (grass) and rice. Later, a lavish grand meal is organised, which is enjoyed by all.
In Bihar, sister hurl, curses, and abuses their brothers then the sister pricks their own tongue as a punishment and ask for forgiveness. In return, the brothers bless them and offer them gifts.
Bhai Dooj is a Hindu festival celebrating the brother-sister relationship with great devotion and love. The festival comes after Diwali and varies in name, tradition, rituals and customs in different parts of the country. This festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm and zeal throughout India and Nepal.
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