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Celebrating the Bond of Sibling Love: Bhai Dooj


India  •  9 Nov, 2023  •  34,496 Views  •  ⭐ 1.0

Written by Shivani Chourasia


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India is a land of diverse cultures and traditions, and among its many festivals, Bhai Dooj holds a special place. Also known as Bhai Tika, Bhau-Beej, or Yam Dwitiya, Bhai Dooj is a Hindu festival celebrated to honour the unique and sacred bond between brothers and sisters. This joyous occasion is observed on the fifth day of Diwali, marking the end of the Diwali festival. In this blog, we will delve into the significance, rituals, and spirit of Bhai Dooj.

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Bhai Dooj 2023: Date and Significance

Bhai Dooj 2023: Know the Date, Time, and Rituals of the Day

Bhai Dooj, a cherished Hindu festival, holds a special place in the hearts of brothers and sisters across India. Also known by various names such as 'Bhai Phonta,' 'Bhai Tika,' 'Bhau Beej,' and 'Yamadvitiya,' this festival is celebrated on the second lunar day of Shukla Paksha in the Vikram Samvat Hindu calendar. It is an integral part of the Diwali festivities and is eagerly anticipated. In 2023, Bhai Dooj is set to be celebrated on the 15th of November, which falls on a Wednesday.

A Bond of Protection and Prayers

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Much like Raksha Bandhan, Bhai Dooj is a celebration of the strong bond between siblings. It symbolizes a brother's commitment to safeguard his sister from harm, while the sister prays for her brother's well-being. The festival's essence lies in its recognition of the deep and unbreakable bond between siblings, particularly the brother-sister relationship. It is believed that on this day, sisters pray for their brothers' well-being, prosperity, and long life, while brothers offer gifts and blessings to their sisters as a token of their love and affection.

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Rituals and Traditions: Tilak Ceremony

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The core ritual of Bhai Dooj involves sisters applying a tilak (vermilion mark) on their brothers' foreheads, which symbolizes their love and protection. In some regions, sisters also perform aarti (a religious ritual with a lamp) for their brothers, seeking blessings from the deities for their well-being.

Creating a Sacred Seat

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Sisters prepare a special seat for their brothers using rice flour. When the brother sits on this seat, a paste made from vermillion, dahi (yoghurt), and rice is applied to his forehead as a religious tika.

Offerings and Mantras

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Following this, the sisters place a Kaddu flower, betel leaves, betel nuts, and coins in their brother's palms. While chanting mantras, they pour water over these offerings. Subsequently, a Kalawa is tied around the brother's wrist, and an aarti is performed. The exchange of gifts and seeking blessings from elders completes the ceremony. Sisters offer prayers for their brothers' success and happiness, while brothers promise to protect and support their sisters throughout their lives.

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Gift Exchange

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The exchange of gifts is an essential part of Bhai Dooj. Brothers often give presents, money, or tokens of love to their sisters as a gesture of appreciation. In return, sisters prepare delicious meals and sweets for their brothers, adding a traditional touch to the celebration.

Festive Attire and Feasting

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On Bhai Dooj, both brothers and sisters often dress in new or traditional attire. Sisters may wear colourful sarees or dresses, while brothers don traditional outfits.

Food plays a vital role in Bhai Dooj celebrations. Families come together to share a delectable meal comprising traditional dishes and sweets, strengthening the familial bonds even further.

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Regional Flavors of Bhai Dooj Celebrations

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Bhai Dooj is celebrated with unique regional variations across India. Here are a few glimpses:

In Maharashtra - 'Bhav Bij'

In Maharashtra, the festival is known as 'Bhav Bij.' Sisters draw a square on the floor where their brothers sit, and they share a bitter fruit called Karith. Tilak is applied on the brothers' foreheads, followed by the aarti and prayers for their well-being.

In West Bengal - 'Bhai Phonta'

In West Bengal, it is called 'Bhai Phonta,' and sisters observe a fast until the rituals are completed. They apply a tilak made of sandalwood, kajal, and ghee on their brothers' foreheads before offering prayers. A grand feast is a highlight of the celebration.

In Bihar - A Unique Tradition

Bihar has a distinctive way of celebrating Bhai Dooj. Sisters express their love by hurling playful curses and abuses at their brothers. As a form of playful punishment, they even prick their tongues before seeking forgiveness. In return, brothers bless them and present them with gifts.

Bhai Dooj Celebrations for the Upcoming Years

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Wondering about the dates for Bhai Dooj in the near future? Here's a quick look:

2024: November 4th, Sunday

2025: October 23rd, Thursday

Conclusion

Bhai Dooj is a beautiful celebration of the bond between siblings, promoting love, affection, and mutual respect. It reflects the deep-rooted cultural values of India, emphasizing the importance of family ties. As the festival brings families together in joy and harmony, it serves as a reminder of the enduring love that exists between brothers and sisters, making it a cherished and heartwarming occasion in the Indian calendar. So, this Bhai Dooj, take a moment to appreciate the special relationship you share with your sibling and celebrate it with love and devotion. Bhai Dooj is a heartwarming celebration of the sibling bond, showcasing the rich tapestry of traditions and customs that make India's festivals so diverse and vibrant.

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