Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Significance of Bhai Dooj

Diwali, the festival of lights, is a five day long celebrations.

The 5th or the last day of diwali is Bhaiya Dooj, popularly known as Bhai Dooj. The reason why this festival is known as bhai dooj is that it falls on the second day after the new moon that is the ‘Dooj’ day. And it is a day to pray for the long life of the brother, which is referred as “bhayya or bhai”.

According to religious scriptures, Yamaraj, the God of death, went to visit his sister's house after a long period of separation. His sister, Yami was very happy to see him and welcomed him by putting an auspicious mark on his forehead for his welfare. Yami and Yamraj then shared a meal. He was so pleased with his sister's reception, he proclaimed that every year, on the dooj day, if a sister puts a tilak on her brother's forehead, then no one can harm her brother. Till date, this tradition is followed. Sisters perform puja for their brother’s safety and well being. Brothers in return give gifts to their sisters as a token of love.

The festival of Diwali is incomplete without bhai dooj. It is referred as “Bhaiyya-Duj” in the Hindi-speaking belt, “Bhav--Bij” in the Marathi-speaking communities, "Bhai fota" in Bengal and "Bhai-Tika" in Nepal.

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