Bhai Dooj, which is observed on the second lunar day of Shukla Paksha in the Kartika month, is quite akin to Raksha Bandhan. The festival of Bhai Dooj, also known as Yama Dwitiya,  is observed after Diwali and is known as Yama Dwitiya in Southern India. It is a holiday that honours the bond between a brother and sister who defend one another when the need arises. Therefore, the sisters often offer prayers for the brothers' longevity, wealth, and well-being on the festival day.

Also known as Bhai Teeka, Bhai Phota and Bhau Teej, this festival is celebrated with great fervour in the Hindu community. On this day, married women invite their brothers to their in-laws' homes to celebrate this festival. The sisters apply tika or tilak on the forehead of their brothers and wish for their prosperity and well-being. 

History of Bhai Dooj 

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, where she welcomed him with much love. For his warm welcome, she prepared special sweets and greeted him with flowers. She also applied tilak on his forehead to symbolise victory in the battle against evil. Since then, the festival of Bhai Dooj has come into being. 
The second legend is that the God of Death, Yama visited his sister Yami on the second day of the new moon. The happy sister then fed him delicious food and sweets. This moved Yama; in return, he gave her a precious gift, expressing his love for her.

Apart from that, he also announced that if a sister performs the rituals of aarti and tilak on their brother, they will have to fear death no more. And this came to be known as the festival of Yamadwitheya all across the ancient land, which is now observed as Bhai Dooj. 

Another legend has been stated in Jainism according to which, when Mahavir, the founder of the religion, attained Nirvana and was cut off from his family, at that time, his brother Nandivardhan was in great grief and was quite disturbed by his decision. During this time, his sister Sudarshana came to his rescue and helped him recover and get back to normal life. This is one of the reasons why Bhai Dooj is also celebrated in Jainism.

Bhai Dooj Celebrations and Major Attractions 

Bhai Dooj celebrations are quite similar to the festival of Raksha Bandhan. To begin with the celebrations of Bhai Dooj, the sisters get themselves ready with the samagri that includes diyas, roli chawal for tilak, Moli, Betel nut, pooja thali, fruits and some sweets. 

1. Get Together 
On this day, the sisters invite their brothers to their homes to perform the ritual ceremony. All the relatives are invited to fully commence the celebrations between all the brothers and sisters. 

2. Adorns the  Pooja Thal 
All the sisters get up early and get dressed in new or colourful clothes. Following this, they adorn the pooja thali with roli, rice, fruits, sweets and diya. This thal is used while doing the pooja ceremony. 

3. Floor Decoration
 The sisters make a square figure on the floor for their brothers to sit on during the pooja. Then the sister consumes Karith, a bitter fruit.  

4. Shubh Muhurat 
Shubh Muhurat is that time of the time that is believed to be the most blessed and perfect to begin with the rituals. 

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5. Tika Ritual
They place a tika on their brother’s forehead, which consists of vermillion, dahi, and rice. It is thought that applying tilak to a brother's forehead assures that he never experiences troubles and that he is shielded from all types of falsehoods and obstacles in life.

6. The Puja Vidhi 
Then the sisters worship the hands of their brother by applying a paste of rice and sindoor.
After this, they place flowers of kaddu, beetle nut, and beetle leaves in the palm of their brothers while chanting mantras and pouring water on their palms. They then tie a kalawa for the well-being of their brother. A lamp is also lit, which is put facing the south direction.

7. The Exchange of Gifts
In return, the brothers shower their sisters with gifts, showcasing their affection for them. If a girl doesn't have a brother, they celebrate this occasion by offering their prayers and worshipping the Hindu God, Moon.  They receive blessings from their elders as they put the day to rest.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Bhai Dooj 

Q1. What is Bhai Dooj celebrated for?
A1
.  Bhai Dooj is celebrated to strengthen the bond between brothers and sisters. On this occasion, the sister prays to God for the welfare of their brother by putting a tilak on their brother’s forehead and swearing to protect him from all evils.

Q2. What is the difference between Rakhi and Bhai Dooj?
A2
. On Bhai Dooj, the sister applies Tilak on her brother's forehead and pledges to defend him from all bad powers, and on Raksha Bandhan,  the sisters tie rakhi on their brother's wrists, and the brothers promise to protect her.

Q3. What should I give my sister to Bhai Dooj? 
A3
.  You can gift your sisters the sheer happiness of a perfect vacation by booking any great vacay package from Adotrip.com. 

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