The fifth and final day of Diwali celebrations is Bhai Dooj,
a day dedicated to the love of brothers & sisters. This is celebrated on
the second day of the bright fortnight or Shukla Paksha of Karthik. On this
day, sisters observe fast during the day hours of Bhai Dooj and invite their
brothers for Bhai Dooj, and after finishing puja, they apply Tilak on the forehead
of their brothers and give sumptuous meal alongwith sweets and fruits and end their
fast. They pray for the welfare and longevity of their brothers. Brothers bless
their sisters and vow to protect and take care of her in the days of her hardship.
Bhai Dooj is a social and family celebration and especially an opportunity for
a married girl to get together with her family and share a bonding. The
brothers gives gifts and cash to their sisters as part of celebration.

It is also known as Bhai Teeka in Nepal, Bhai Phota in Bengal, Bhai Beej, Bhav
Bij,or Bhau Beej in Western parts of India. It is believed that the God of
death Yama met his sister Yamuna on Dwititya, so it is known as Yamadwititya.

The Legends:

The Legend Of Yamaraj and Yamuna :
Yama, God of Death had a twin-sister named Yami or Yamuna.
Yami, Yama’s twin sister, was transformed into the sacred river Yamuna in whose
purifying waters people bathe on holy days.
It is believed that once Yama went to visit his sister Yami
who welcomed him with an auspicious tilak on his forehead and after garlanding
him fed him a sumptuous meal and sweets. As a token of love, Yamraj gave her a
special gift while Yami presented him with a gift made with her own hands.
Yamraj then announced that anyone who receives tilak from his sister will
prosper. So to this day sisters welcome their brothers with the traditional
tilak and sweets and brothers give gifts. It is also known as Yamadwititya.
The Legend Of Shree Krishna:
On this day, Lord Krishna, after slaying the Narakasura
demon, goes to his sister Subhadra who welcomes him the lamp, flowers and
sweets, and puts the holy protective spot on her brother’s forehead and hence
it is believed that Bhai Dooj originated henceforth.
The Legend Of Lord Mahavir:
Mahavir, the founder of Jainism, attained nirvana, his
brother King Nandivardhan was distressed because he missed him and was
comforted by his sister Sudarshana. Since then, women have been revered during
Bhai Dooj.

It is mostly celebrated in Hindu families of India & Nepal and it’s more of
a celebration of a trust and love of siblings; relationship of sisters and
brothers and an occasion to gather together post Diwali and with this festival,
the long celebration of five days comes to an end.

May the love of siblings multiplies with time.

Happy Bhai Dooj to All!

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