Celebrated on the second lunar day of the Shukla Paksha in the Kartika month, Bhai Dooj is said to be quite similar to the festival of Raksha Bandhan. It is celebrated during the time period of Diwali and in Southern India, the festival of Bhai Dooj is known as Yama Dwitiya.
It is a festival that seems to celebrate the relationship between a brother and sister who, when the time comes, act as each other’s protectors. So, typically on the occasion of this festival, the sisters pray for the longevity, prosperity and well-being of their brothers. It is believed that a sister putting tilak on his brother’s forehead ensures that he never comes across any kind of hardships and also gets protection from all kinds of deceit and hindrances in his life.
Also known as Bhai Teeka, Bhai Pota and Bhau Teej this festival is celebrated with great fervour in the Hindu community. It is on this day that the women folk invite their brothers to their home to celebrate this festival. The sisters apply tika or what is known as tilak on the forehead of their brothers and wish for their prosperity and well-being.
Like any other festival, there are a couple of legends associated with Bhai Dooj as well. According to one such legend Lord Krishna, after killing the demon king Narakasura visited his sister, Goddess Subhadra's house. And she welcomed him in a very gentle and sweet way. To ensure a warm welcome to him, she prepared special sweets for him and welcomed him with flowers and also applied tilak on his forehead as a symbol of emerging victorious in the battle against evil. And since that day, the festival of Bhai Dooj came into being.
The second legend depicting the origin of Bhaiya Dooj states that the God of death, Yama had visited his sister Yami on the second day of the new moon. She prepared and fed him delicious food and sweets. This moved Yama and in return, he offered her with a gift signifying his love and affection for his sister. Not just that, the God of Death, Yama also declared that if a brother received tilak and aarti from his sister he need not be afraid of death anymore. And this came to be known as the festival of Yamadwitheya all across the ancient land.
Another legend has been stated in Jainism according to which when Mahavir, the founder of Jainism attained Nirvana and cut off from his family; at that time, his brother Nandivardhan was in great grief and was quite disturbed with his decision. In these disturbing times, it was his sister Sudarshana who helped him in recovering and getting back to normal life.
On the day of Bhai Dooj, the sisters invite their brothers to their homes for the purpose of ritual ceremony. They place a tika on their brother’s forehead which consists of vermillion, dahi, and rice. Then the sisters worship the hands of their brother by applying a paste of rice and sindoor. After this, the sisters offer flowers of kaddu, beetle nut and beetle leaves in the palm of their brothers while chanting mantras and pouring water on their palm. Then they tie a kalawa on it for the well-being of their brothers. A lamp is also lit which is put facing the south direction. And returning this affection, the brothers generally give their sisters gifts showcasing their affection for them. And if a sister doesn't have any brother then, in that case, they celebrate this particular occasion by offering their prayers and worshipping the Hindu God Moon.
And in terms of clothing, on the occasion of this festival, women generally wear regular salwar suits and sarees that depict the taste of Indian culture. On the other hand, men prefer to wear regular shirts and pants. However, if they like they can also go with kurta and pajama.
By Air. Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport is one of the most convenient ways of travelling to Haryana via flights. Apart from this, you can also consider Chandigarh airport for travelling by air. Delhi airport has very good connectivity with other major cities.
By Road. By road, Haryana has got very good connectivity. If you are living in nearby places like Delhi or Chandigarh then you can even consider travelling to Haryana via public transport such as a bus. However, travelling by your own vehicle is altogether a different experience as it gives you the freedom to travel at your own pace. From Delhi, Chandigarh, Bangalore, Pune it will take you around 2, 4, 39, and 27 hours respectively to reach Haryana.
By Train. The nearby and important railway stations from Haryana are Kalka, Ambala, Kurukshetra, Hissar, Panipat, Jakhal, etc. So, travelling via train would be a hassle-free experience for you.
29th October 2019
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