Bhai Duj: Last Day of Diwali Celebrations, Bhaiya Dooj Celebrations, Bhai Duj Significance: Strengthen the Brother-Sister Bond on Bhai Dooj

The last and the fifth day celebration of Diwali is the Bhai duj festival. Bhai means brother, and Dooj means the two days after new moon, i.e., two days after Diwali in Kartik month of Hindu calendar. Bhaidooj is a festival of strength and relationships, of bonding between brothers and sisters. Bhai Dooj is a most important day of Diwali, marking the end of the celebrations. Also known as Bhai Bij, Bhaubeej or Bhav Bij among Hindus, this festival symbolizes love between brothers and sisters. It is the festival to celebrate the lifelong pledge of defense between brothers and sisters.



On this day brother and sister meets with each other, sister puts a teeka on her brother's forehead and pray for his wellbeing, long life, health, and success. In return brother gives gifts to his sister and bless her. These gestures express the love between them. The brother also get gifts from his sisters, specially if the brother is younger . If the brother is younger then he has to take blessings from his sister and sister in turn showers him with gifts.

There are various legends associated with the festival. According to one legend, Lord Yama was welcomed by his sister with an auspicious tilak (a red dot) on his forehead when he went to visit her after a long period of separation. She also welcomed hime with flowers and fed him a delicious meal and sweets. Yama was very happy by this warm welcome and as a token of love, he gave her a special gift and announced that anyone who receives tilak from his sister on this day will prosper in life. From then onwards, sisters welcome their brothers with the tilak and sweets and brothers in turn give them gifts. This festival is also known as Yamadwititya.There is another legend. It is said that when after killing him Narakasura, Lord Krishna visited his sister Subhadra's house. Subhadra welcomed his brother with diya, flowers and sweets, and applied the teeka on her brother's forehead, symbolizing protection from all dangers. There is yet another story behind the origin of this festival. It is believed that when Mahavir, the founder of Jainism, attained nirvana, his brother King Nandivardhan was very distressed and missed his brother a lot. His sister Sudarshana consoled and comforted him. Since then, women have been revered and respected during Bhai Dooj Festival.

Every year Bhai dooj is celebrated by many Indian Families. This festival is known as Bhai Phota or Bhai Fota in West Bengal, Bhai Beej / Bhai Bij in Gujarat and Bhai Dooj in Bihar. It is known as Bhai Tika or Bhai Teeka in Nepal.

On the auspicious occasion of Bhai dooj, sisters take great interest in decorating the pooja thali which is used for performing aarti in front of the brother. Though well decorated bhai dooj pooja thalis are available, the charm of decorating your thali is something which cannot be explained. Adorned Bhaidooj Puja Thalis having all the Puja accessories can be bought from the market but the contentment and the happiness of decorating this Thali by ones' own hands produce a sense of divine feeling. Moreover in many cases when the brothers see the pains and efforts of decorating the puja thali taken by sisters, they feel good in rewarding their sisters with presents and gifts.

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