After the festivities and the celebrations of Diwali, sisters in India get ready
for 'Bhai Dooj'. The festival falls on the second day after Diwali and is
celebrated all over the country. Bhai Dooj or Bhaiyadooj is the festival of
brother and sister, where sisters ceremonize their love for their brothers by
putting an auspicious tilak (vermilion mark) on the forehead of their brothers
and perform an aarti as a mark of love and protection from evil forces. Then its
brother's turn, sisters are lavished with gifts, treats and blessings from their
¤ The Celebrations
After Diwali comes the auspicious day, Bhai Dooj. A day marked by excitement and
enthusiasm. In the morning sisters are busy preparing for the festival. They
decorate a puja plate with chandan paste (sandal wood), kajal, morning dew,
green grass and paddy seeds or dhan along with sweets, roli, rice and coconut.
Sister's observe a fast till they apply a tilak on their brother's forehead.
Sisters also prepare a lavish lunch with all their brothers' favorite dishes.
On the other hand brothers also eagerly wait for this occasion. Brothers sit on
a carpet and sisters lit puja lamp, uttering the mantra, applying tilak of
chandan/roli on the forehead, kajal and dew water with their little finger of
left hand and give blessings with green grass and paddy seeds (dhan and durba).
Finally they offer sweets along with the coconut to their brother. Thus sisters
wish their brothers long life, good health and all prosperity.
¤ The Legend Associated
According to one legend, on this day, Lord Krishna, after assassinating
Narakasura the demon, after which he went to meet his sister Subhadra who
welcomed him with the lamp, flowers and sweets, and mark his forehead with holy
protective spot. It is said that on an unknown past Yamuna marked on the
forehead of her brother Yama (the God of death). Even now that custom is carried
on. There is a belief that a sister who has a brother is indeed fortunate .
Sister invites brother and brother waits for that with great expectations. It is
a happy family gathering. Feasting, exchanging gifts and outing are a part of
¤ Forms A Bond
The Bhai- Dooj festival helps to keep and maintain family close and brings
closer ties between brother and sister eternal bond and prosperity.