Let’s Know The Most Interesting Facts About Bhai Dooj
Bhai Dooj festival, also known as Bhai Tika or Bhau Beej in many parts of the country, is a joyful Hindu festival celebrated after Diwali. As the word “Bhai'' suggests, this festival celebrates the importance of the sacred brother-sister relationship. According to Hindi mythology, it was the day when Lord Krishna came to visit his sister Subhadra. Subhadra welcomed him by applying a tilak to his forehead after he slew the demon Narkasur. This became a tradition as applying tilak and offering sweets is an important part of this festival. Another story says that it was the day Lord Yama, the God of Death, visited his sister Yami, also known as the Yamuna. The mythology puts an interesting twist to this exciting festival as many sisters gear up to welcome their brothers and celebrate with them, as per these ancient traditions. The sisters give their brothers gifts and sweets on this day, and Bhai Dooj celebrations are carried out with immense enthusiasm throughout the country and abroad! Special dishes like Basundi puri in Maharashtra or Kheerni puri are made on this occasion. Here are some lesser-known interesting facts about the festival of Bhai Dooj that will leave you amazed!
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1. The Significance
Bhai Dooj comes from two words, ‘bhai’ meaning brother and ‘dooj’ meaning the second day. This signifies that the festival is celebrated on the second day after the full moon. As per the Hindu calendar, the festival falls on the second lunar day of Shukla Paksha (bright fortnight) of the Kartik month.
Apart from the stories of Lord Krishna visiting his sister Subhadra and Lord Yama meeting Yamuna, there is one other story associated with this festival. It was also the day Lord Mahavir attained Moksha. When he left the kingdom, it caused great distress to his brother, King Nandivardhan.
3. Prayers To The Moon
There is also a ritual for those women who do not have a brother or whose brothers live too far away to come to visit. They worship the moon or Chandra instead. The sisters living far away send their sincere prayers and love for their brother through the moon god. This is also why little children are often heard calling the moon “Chanda Mama” or mother’s brother.
4. Bhai Dooj in Nepal
Did you know that after Vijayadashmi, Bhai Dooj is the biggest festival celebrated in Nepal? It is called Bhai Tika or Bhai Tihaar (festival of brothers). Sisters pray to Yamraj for the long life and prosperity of their brothers on this day. It includes a unique ritual in which sisters apply tilak to their brothers' forehead with a seven-coloured long tika.
5. Bhai Phonta in Bengal
In Bengal, the sisters don't apply the traditional red tilak and rice paste on their brother's forehead. Instead, they use sandalwood paste and kajal paste and apply them together, called Phonta. The festival is made more delightful with 'Khaja', a crunchy sweet snack local to Bengal.
6. In South India
Although South Indians do celebrate the festival of Bhai Dooj, it is known as 'Bhagini Hastha Bhojanam', which means 'eating food prepared by one's sister.' It is celebrated on Yama Dvitiya to mark the day when Lord Yama had a feast made by his sister and blessed her with prosperity and long life. It is believed that those who eat food prepared by their sisters on this day will be saved from harm by Lord Yama!
7. Bhai Dooj 2021 Muhurat
Bhai Dooj 2021 will be celebrated on the 6th of November. The Shubh Muhurat or auspicious time to apply Tika and celebrate Bhai Dooj is between 1.10 PM to 3.21 PM. The auspicious time is for about 2 hours 11 minutes.
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The Most Frequently Searched Questions About Diwali
● What is the difference between Rakhi and Bhai Dooj?
While Raksha Bandhan is celebrated in August, Bhai Dooj is celebrated in Oct-Nov, 2 days after Diwali. On Raksha Bandhan, the sister ties a thread around the brother’s wrist, while on Bhai Dooj, aarti and tilak play an important role.
● Why do we celebrate Bhai Dooj after Holi?
Bhai Dooj is celebrated both after Holi as well as after Diwali. Holi Bhai Dooj is celebrated on Dwitiya Tithi of Chaitra month. This is because it celebrates the bond between brothers and sisters.
● What does Bhai Dooj mean?
Bhai Dooj comes from two words, 'Bhai' meaning brother and 'Dooj' meaning the second day. Therefore, it signifies that the festival is celebrated on the second lunar day (2 days after the full moon).
● Do sisters fast on Bhai Dooj?
Yes, sisters fast in the morning until the traditional festivities are completed to pray for the longevity and prosperity of their brothers.
● Do brothers give gifts to Bhai Dooj?
● What is the story behind bhai dooj?
It is said that Lord Krishna visited his sister Subhadra after defeating the Asura Narkasur on this day. Another story goes that Lord Yama came to his sister Yamuna’s house and ate a feast prepared by her.
● What is another name for Bhai Dooj?
Bhai Dooj is called different names in different parts of the country. Bhau beej in Maharashtra, Bhai Phonta in Bengal, Bhai Bij in Gujarat, Bhatru Dwitiya in South India, Bhai Tika in Nepal are some of the many names of this festival.
● Is Roli chawal for Bhai Dooj a mandatory one?
The main importance of Bhai Dooj is the tika applied by the sister on the brother’s forehead. The tika is applied with grains of rice, although not mandatory.
● What are the sweets mainly shared on bhai dooj?
Delicacies like Khaja in Bengal, kheer or basundi puri in Maharashtra, coconut ladoos are some traditional sweets you can devour on this day.
We hope you were amazed by these interesting facts. Have a Happy Bhai Dooj!