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You are here : home > Indian Culture > Indian Festivals and occassions > What is Bhai Dooj or Bhau Beej?

What is Bhai Dooj or Bhau Beej?

What is Bhai Dooj or Bhau Beej?

Bhai Dooj or Bhau Beej known by different names in different parts of country is a celebration of bond of everlasting love and affection between brother and his sister. Find out the rituals and significance of Bhai Dooj.

In Bhai Dooj or Bhau Beej is basically the fourth and final day of the Diwali festivity. In the year 2012, Bhai Dooj will be celebrated on 15th of November. On this day sisters pray for their brother by applying a red Tilak of Kumkum, and pray for the long life, peace and prosperity of the brother. This Tilak is an auspicious mark put on the forehead of the brothers and an Arati is performed. The holy flame of the Diya is a mark of sisterly love that will protect the brother from all evil and obstacles in life.

In turn the sisters are pampered with lavish goodies from their brothers. Bhai Dooj is observed on the second day of the new moon, where “Bhai’means brother and “Dooj” means second day post new moon. The day is named differently in different parts of India, like in northern India it is known as Bhai Dooj and in the eastern part of India, it is known as Bhai Phonta.

Every sister and brother looks forward to this festival that marks the bond of everlasting love and affection and is also observed by people who are not related through family tree. Which means; this is also an occasion when new bonds are formed, and commemorated and social ties of peace and brotherhood are established and renewed.

Story Behind Bhai Dooj or Bhau Beej

Since this day falls on the Yama Dwitiya, the legend goes that Lord Yama, or the God of Death visits his sister Yami on this when she puts an auspicious mark on his forehead so that her brother stand protected and prays for his well-being. The belief hence goes that when a sister puts Tilak on the forehead of her brother on this day, he will never be hurled into hell and be protected from all evil and obstacles.

The other legend on this is that Lord Krishna visits his sister Subhadra after vanquishing the demon Narakasura, where she welcomes him with a victor’s Tilak , flowers and sweets.

Story Behind Bhai Phonta

In Bengal this day is observed as Bhai Phonta where the sister fasts until she puts the auspicious mark of sandalwood paste on the forehead of her brother. They exchange gifts and the sister prays for a healthy and prosperous life for her brother. The occasion is completed with grand feasts and merriment.

Significance of Bhai Dooj

Just like the numerous other Hindu festivals, Bhai Dooj is also a commemoration of family bonds and social attachments. It marks the undying bond of affection between the brother and his sister. Such is the significance of the festival that these days when the brothers are unable to visit their sisters on this occasion due to fast life and work compulsions, sisters send the “Tika” that is considered as the holy spot of protection through post or courier.

Indians are known to glorify customs, rituals and relationships through festivals. Bhai Dooj is similar in essence to Raksha Bandhan, where sisters observe the day to pray for the long life and well being of their brothers. If Raksha Bandhan is all about tying a Rakhi on the arm of the brother as a mark of the infallible bond of love and affection, whereby, the brother is committed to protect the sister from all adversities in life.

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priya.9 years ago
this article was very helpful as my family is settled in Germany and my kids are not aware of bhai dooj..thru this article i made them understand the imp of bhai dooj
.9 years ago
great tips..
naraj.9 years ago
excellent article
Nitin.Nikalje.9 years ago
nice article
Nitin.Nikalje.9 years ago
nice article
.9 years ago
good article
.9 years ago
nice article
.9 years ago
nice article
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Discussion Forum - Recent Posts
Bhai Dooj or Bhau Beej will be celebrated on which day in the year 2012? What is the significance of Bhai Dooj? How is Bhai Dooj celebrated?
Dwija Dwija
Bhai dooj is a festival for brothers and sisters. It celebrates the bond of affection between the brother and his sister. In this festival, the sister prays for long life of the brother. ...
read reply
Indu Indu

Bhai dooj is celebrated by different names in different parts of India. On this day sisters put tilak on their brothers forehead and pray for his long life, prosperity and well being. ...
read reply
Prerna sharma Prerna sharma
I make sure to visit my brothers place for bhai dooj. It is a great day for bonding and fun. After the usual rituals of tilak and puja, we have an elaborate lunch. My brother then takes me on a shoppi...
read reply
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