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Bhai Dooj (Day 5 of Diwali)- Significance, History, and Everything you need to know!

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Bhai Dooj (The 5th Day of Diwali)- Significance, History and Everything you need to know!

 

Bhai Dooj, also known as Bhau-beej and Bhaubij, is a Hindu festival that celebrates the bond between brothers and sisters. It is celebrated on the second day of Diwali, the five-day long Hindu festival of lights. On this day, sisters perform a special puja for their brothers to ensure their well-being and prosperity.

The puja includes applying tilak (a mark made with sandalwood paste or vermilion) on the brother’s forehead, offering him sweets and flowers, lighting diyas (lamps), and praying for his health and happiness. Brothers reciprocate by gifting clothes or money to their sisters and vowing to protect them always.

 

The Story Behind Bhai Dooj

 

Bhai Dooj is a Hindu festival that celebrates the brother-sister bond. It is also known as Bhau-Beej and Bhratri Dwitya. The festival falls on the second day of Diwali, the five-day long Festival of Lights. The story behind Bhai Dooj dates back to the time when Lord Krishna defeated demon king Narakasura. After emerging victorious, he visited his sister Subhadra who welcomed him with open arms and performed an aarti ceremony.

Pleased with her devotion, Krishna blessed her saying that any woman who performs similar rituals on this auspicious day would be protected from all evil forces throughout her life. From then on, it has been customary for Indian women to perform puja or worship ceremonies along with special meals prepared in honour of their brothers on Bhai Dooj every year. This festival also signifies the end of the harvest season and is thus a time for thanksgiving. It is believed that on this day, Yama Raja, the god of death, visits his sister Yamuna Devi.

Pleased with her affection towards him, he grants her a boon that anyone who dies within her waters will attain moksha or salvation. As such, people take dips in holy rivers like Ganga and Yamuna on Bhai Dooj to cleanse themselves of their sins and achieve liberation from the cycle of birth and death. This festival, like all other Hindu festivals, is steeped in mythology and tradition. It is a time for families to come together and celebrate the bonds of love and affection!

 

Significance of Bhai Dooj

 

The word ‘Bhai’ means brother in Hindi, while ‘Dooj’ refers to the two days after the new moon when brothers visit their married sisters. On this day, sisters pray for their brothers’ long life and well-being, and prepare special meals for them. Brothers in turn give clothes and other presents to their sisters. The festival highlights the importance of sibling love and strengthens familial bonds across India. 

It has been mentioned in Vedic texts like Yamaka Bharata as Agrani Jayanti, which was celebrated by Yama (god of death) visiting his sister Yamuna on this auspicious occasion every year. This gave rise to another name, Narka Chaturdashi (Narakasura Chaturdashi). According to some versions, Lord Krishna killed the demon Narakasura on this very day; hence it became widely known as Vishnu Dwadashi too, since Vishnu slew many demons, including Narakasura.

In Maharashtra it is called Tulapurusha Jayanthi, where Tula Purush (Lord Shiva) visited his wife Parvati just like any other bhratri visits her bhabhi(sister-in-law/brother’s wife). There are different customs followed all over India, but one thing remains common among almost all Hindus that they celebrate sibling love, especially the fraternal bond between brother and sister, with great gusto.

 

How is Bhai Dooj Celebrated?

 

On this day, sisters perform a puja for their brothers by lighting a diya (lamp) and applying tilak (a mark made with sandalwood paste or vermilion powder) to their foreheads. The brothers then offer prayers and gifts to their sisters in return. This beautiful festival not only strengthens familial bonds but also helps promote gender equality within society.

In India, where Bhai Dooj is traditionally celebrated, women are often seen as subordinate to men; however, this festival provides an opportunity for them to be worshiped and honoured. This equal treatment of genders reinforces the message that everyone should be treated with respect regardless of their sex. Not only does Bhai Dooj celebrate sister-brother relationships, but it also highlights the importance of family bonds overall.

In today’s world where people are often too busy to spend time with loved ones, festivals like Bhai Dooj serve as a reminder of how crucial it is to nurture these ties. It’s a time for families to come together, catch up with one another, and create cherished memories. So, if you’re looking for an excuse to show your siblings some extra love, make sure to mark Bhai Dooj in your calendar!

 

When is Bhai Dooj Celebrated?

 

Bhai Dooj is usually celebrated on the second day of Diwali, which falls on the dark moon night in October or November. On this day, sisters perform a puja for their brothers with special prayers and offerings.

The brother then applies tilak (a mark of auspiciousness) to his sister’s forehead and gives her gifts. This lovely occasion strengthens the sibling bond and reminds us of our duties towards our siblings. This year, Bhai Dooj will be celebrated on Wednesday, October 26th!

 

Summary

 

Bhai Dooj (the fifth day of Diwali) is a very special day for brothers and sisters. It is the day when they are revered by their siblings and given gifts. The festival signifies the bonds that tie a brother and sister together.

Diwali, the festival of lights, is celebrated in India with great fervour. This festival is marked by festive gatherings at home with family and friends, visits to temples, fireworks, exchange of gifts and sweets. The festival ends with the Bhai Dooj which falls on the 5th day after Diwali.

The significance of Bhai Dooj can be traced back to ancient times when brothers were considered equal in status to parents. The holiday was also meant to strengthen ties between siblings and promote good relationships among them. Also, don’t miss Bhai Dooj this year; it falls on Wednesday October 25th!

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