Bhai Dooj (भाई दूज) / Bhau-Beej / Bhai Tika / Bhai Phonta (ভাইফোঁটা) is a festival celebrated by Hindus of the Indian subcontinent, notably India and Nepal, on the second lunar day of Shukla Paksha (bright fortnight) in the Vikram Samvat Hindu calendar or of Shalivahan Shaka calendar month of Kartika. It is celebrated during the Diwali or Tihar festival.
The celebrations of this day are similar to the festival of Raksha Bandhan. On this day, brothers get gifts from sisters.
In the southern part of the country, the day is celebrated as Yama Dwitiya.
In Haryana, basically, a special ritual also followed, a dry coconut (named as gola in regional language) with klewa tied along its width for worshipping is also used at the time of doing aarti of your brother.
Bhai Dhooj Meaning
Bhai Dhooj is one of the most interesting and popular family festivals of India. The objective of this puja is to strengthen the relationship between brother and sister. It is to remind brothers that they need to be more affectionate in taking care of their sister. The essence of this puja is very well spoken by its very name meaning Bhai meaning Brother and Dooj meaning the second day of the month when the puja is done.
Usually, the Diwali celebrations last for five days and Bhai Dooj occurs on the last day as a sort of conclusion to the grand celebrations of Diwali year on year. Typically, this puja is performed on the second day (Dhooj or Dvitiya) of the bight half (shukla Paksha) of the lunar month in the month of Karthika. The core of the puja is the sister performing the Tika ceremony praying for the long life of her brother and then the brother giving her surprise gifts.
Twice in a Year
Bhai Dooj occurs twice every year once after Holi and then after Diwali. As indicated by the name, while the one following Diwali is observed on the second day after the new moon day (Amavasya), the one following Holi is performed on the second day following full moon day (Poornima).
Bhai Dooj occasion reinforces the importance of brother in the minds of sister. On the day of Bhai Dooj, the sister in a family makes a Puja Thali especially for her brother with so much love which consists of items like Tika and is considered highly auspicious.
Before the puja, the sister must get ready with items including coconut, fruits, seven betel leaves, batashas, mithai, roli and some rice. Usually, this puja is done early in the morning before the brother leaves for his work or can be arranged in the evenings as well.
Puja on mother house
Both married and unmarried girls perform this puja in their mother’s house. If they life in far off places after marriage or find it difficult to visit their mother’s place, then they perform the puja in their in-laws house and send the tika and roli to their brother’s place. Alternatively, the sister can also give some money to the sister-in-law to buy the essential things on her behalf.
To start with, the sister decorates the coconut, batashas, mithai, rice and roli and lights up the puja lamp. Everyone in home performs the puja and the sister applies the tika on her brother’s forehead. She too presents some tasty dishes and coconut to her brother. While the brother needs to partake some of it, he can then leave for his work. Those who are free at home can sit back to listen to the story about the Bhai Dooj festival.
Usually, this occasion marks a congenial get together among the family members. For this occasion, sisters visit their mother’s homes. Especially for newly married girls, this is an occasion to visit their parents’ house and share the wonderful memories they have in their in laws house including the day to day affairs, the excitements during celebrations and so on. On the whole, this puja has a lot of cultural, spiritual and social significance.>