Bhai Dooj 2020 is here and all the brothers and sisters in India are gearing up for this festival eagerly. It is a festival that is observed during Diwali and is extremely popular in the Northern parts of India. Not only in India, but Bhai dooj is also celebrated in Nepal. It is known as Bhai Phota (Bengali), Bhai Tika (Nepal), Bhau Beej or Bhav Bij (in Maharashtra) and BhaginiHasthaBhojanamu (Telangana) and BhatruDviteeya (Andhra Pradesh).
The day symbolises the bond of love between a brother and sister, where a sister prays for the long life of her brother and the brother remembers his duty to always protect his sister. References to this festival can be found in Hindu sacred texts and in the Puranas. Here is a small glimpse of the history behind Bhai Dooj
Bhai Dooj history is reportedly mentioned in the Puranas. According to various mythological stories, Lord Krishna visited his beloved sister Subhadra after vanquishing the demon Narakasura. Subhadra applied tilak on her brother's forehead and congratulated him by feeding him sweets and giving him gifts. It is believed that Lord Krishna blessed Subhadra with boons. This exchange of gifts and blessings may have lead to the origin of the festival.
Bhai Phota, which is a variation of this festival in West Bengal, has its own significance. In Bengal, sisters invite brothers to sit on a cotton asana (mattress) and apply a tilak of kajal, dahi (curd) and rice as they pray for their well being. At the end of the ritual, the brother seeks his sister's blessings by touching her feet.
The Bhai Dooj celebration differs from place to place although the essence remains the same. On this day, a woman invites her brothers to her house for bhai dooj celebration. The sister applies a tilak (or 'teeka') of vermillion paste and rice on her brother's forehead before an exchange of sweets and gifts. The tilak may also be made of chandan/haldi (i.e. sandalwood paste or turmeric). For those who are wondering about the significance of the name, the term 'Dooj' indicates the second day after the new moon.
Bhai Dooj is a unique festival where siblings celebrate their bond. As they greet each other and exchange blessings and gifts, they strengthen their bonds. This Bhai Dooj 2020, wish your brothers and sisters and cherish the bond that keeps siblings tied together.