Photo: Indianexpress
Bhai Dooj 2021. Photo: Indianexpress

Bhai Dooj or Bhaiya Dooj is a Hindu festival celebrating the unconditional love bond between a brother and a sister. Bhai Dooj defines the eternal love between siblings, dedicated to strengthening the bond between them.

Bhai Dooj 2021: Date & Time

Bhai Dooj or Bhaiya Dooj is observed on the second day after Diwali celebrations. This day commemorates the sacred relationship shared between a brother and sister. Sisters apply tilak on the foreheads of their brothers and pray for their prosperity and longevity.

This year, Holi Bhai Dooj will be celebrated on March 30. The Dwitiya Tithi begins at 8:54 PM on March 29 and ends at 5:27 PM on March 30.

Bhai Dooj 2021: History & Significance

Photo: Ganeshaspeaks
Photo: Ganeshaspeaks
Legend has it that Yamraj, the god of death, was called by his sister Yamuna several times for a meeting but he could not go. However, when he finally was able to visit her, she was very happy and welcomed him with love and respect and prepared a variety of delectables for him and wished him well by applying a ceremnonial tilak on him.

Happy at the honour and love, Yamraj asked his sister to ask for a boon. Yamuna asked that a day should be marked out each year for Yamraj to visit her house. Thus the festival of bhai dooj started where every year brothers go to their sisters' house to celebrate kinship.

Photo: Pngtree
Photo: Pngtree

There are three other legends associated with the festival. One states that Lord Krishna went to see his sister Subhadra, after slaying the demon, Narakasura. Subhadra welcomed him with flowers and aarti and put a teeka on his forehead, giving rise to the festival of bhai dooj. Another is associated with Lord Mahavira in Jainism. When the 24th Tirthankara of Jainism, Lord Mahavira attained nirvana, his brother, king Nandivardhan started missing his brother and was consoled by his sister Sudarshana. This gave rise to the festival.

A third legend states that Mahabali asked Lord Vishnu for a boon which would require Vishnu to be present at every door of Patalaloka. Lord Vishnu agreed and became a Dwarpalaka. When Goddess Lakshmi learnt of it, she disguised herself as a poor woman and went to Bali seeking help and stating that she would really like a brother because she didn't have one. Bali accepted her as his sister and asked her to make a wish. She wished for the release of Lord Vishnu from his service. Bali kept his word and the festival celebrating the bond between brother and sister was born, Firstpost noted.

READ MORE: Main Festivals in India during April

Bhai Dooj 2021: Rituals

Photo: Thequint
Photo: Thequint

Bhai Dooj celebrations are quite similar to the festival of Raksha Bandhan. On this day, the sisters invite their brothers to their home to perform the 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, they place flowers of kaddu, beetle nut, and beetle leaves in the palm of their brothers while chanting mantras and pouring water on their palm. They then tie a kalawa for the well-being of their brother. A lamp is also lit which is put facing the south direction.

In return, the brothers shower their sisters with gifts, showcasing their affection for them. In case a girl doesn't have a brother then, they celebrate this occasion by offering their prayers and worshipping the Hindu God, Moon, Adotrip cited.

Bhai Dooj 2021: Celebrations in different places

Photo: Thestatesman
Photo: Thestatesman

In Maharashtra: This festival is celebrated as ‘ Bhav bij’. As a part of the sibling celebration, a brother sits on the floor where sister draw a square and consume a bitter fruit known as Karith. After that, sister apply tilak on the forehead of their brothers and perform the aarti and offer prayers for the welfare of the sibling.

In West Bengal: The festival is known as ‘Bhai Ponta’. As a part of ritual, sister observe a fast until the ceremony is completed. Sister apply tilak of the forehead of her brothers that is made with sandalwood, kajal and ghee before offering prayers for the well-being.

In Bihar: The celebration of Bhai Dooj in Bihar is quite different as compare to other parts of the country. Here the ritual is that, on this day, sisters hurl curses and abuses for their brothers on the occasion before pricking their tongues as a punishment and asking for forgiveness. In return, brothers bless them and offer them gifts, Indialends listed.

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