BhaiDooj

Bhai Dooj is a festival celebrated by Hindus of India and Nepal on the last day of the five-day-long Diwali or Tihar festival. This is the second day of the bright fortnight or Shukla Paksha of the Hindu lunar month of Kartika in Nepali Calendar.

The celebrations of this day are similar to the festival of Raksha Bandhan. On this day, sisters pray for a long and happy life for their brothers, by performing the Tika ceremony.

On the day of the festival, sisters invite their brothers for a sumptuous meal often including their favorite dishes/sweets. The whole ceremony signifies the duty of a brother to protect his sister, as well as a sister’s blessings for her brother.

Carrying forward the ceremony in traditional style, sisters perform aarti for their brother and apply a red tika on the brother’s forehead. This tika ceremony on the occasion of Bhai Bij signifies the sister’s sincerest prayers for the long and happy life of her brother. In return brothers bless their sisters and treat them also with gifts or cash.

As it is customary in Haryana, Maharashtra to celebrate the auspicious occasion of Bhau-beej, women who do not have a brother worship the moon god instead. They apply mehendi on girls as their tradition.

The sister, whose brother lives far away from her and cannot come to her house, sends her sincerest prayers for the long and happy life of her brother through the moon god. She performs aarti for the moon. This is the reason why children of Hindu parents affectionately call the moon Chandamama (Chanda means moon and mama means mother’s brother).

The festival of Bhai Bij is popular in Haryana, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Goa and is celebrated with great fervour and gaiety. Brothers and sisters look forward to the occasion with immense enthusiasm. To add charm to the occasion, Bhai Bij gifts are exchanged between brothers and sisters as a token of love and appreciation.

Bhav Bij is a time for family reunions as all brothers and sisters in the family get together. Close relatives and friends are also invited to celebrate the Bhav Bij in many families.