New Delhi: The Hindu holiday Bhai Dooj, or Bhai Phota in Bengali, honours the relationship between brothers and sisters. It occurs two days after Diwali and has great emotional and cultural significance in India. The two words that make up the festival are ‘Bhai’, which means brother, and ‘Dooj’, which means the day that it is celebrated, which is the second day after the new moon. Sisters perform aarti, apply tilak (vermilion) to their brothers’ foreheads, and tie a protective thread around their wrists as a way of showing their love and affection on this auspicious day.
The legend behind Bhai Dooj is deeply rooted in Hindu mythology. The story of Lord Yamaraj and his sister Yami is one of the most popular folk tale associated with the festival of Bhai Dooj. According to the legend, Yamaraj, the God of death, was once invited by his sister Yami to her house for a feast. Yamaraj was hesitant to go at first, as he knew that his very presence could bring death. However, Yami insisted, and he eventually agreed.
When Yamaraj arrived at Yami’s house, she welcomed him with a warm embrace and performed aarti for him. She then applied tilak on his forehead and offered him sweets and flowers. Yamaraj was touched by her love and affection, and he blessed her, saying that anyone who received tilak and sweets from their sister on this day would be blessed with a long and prosperous life.
Since then, Bhai Dooj has been celebrated as a day to celebrate the bond between brothers and sisters. On this day, sisters perform aarti for their brothers and apply tilak on their foreheads. They also offer them sweets and gifts. Brothers, in turn, vow to protect and support their sisters throughout their lives.
The festival of Bhai Dooj is a reminder of the importance of family and the special bond between siblings. It is a day to celebrate the love and respect that brothers and sisters have for each other.