The Significance of Rituals, Gifting and Feasting on Bhai Dooj

Once the celebration of Deepavali gets over, comes the celebration signifying brother-sister love- Bhai Dooj. After Raksha Bandhan, bhai dooj yet another festival that celebrates the love-hate relationship of brothers and sisters. Akin to Rakhi, this day is all about pampering siblings with bhai dooj gifts (, gala feast, and family gathering.
The auspicious event that marks the end of the fifth daylong Deepavali celebration is rejoiced majorly in different regions of India including UP, Bihar, West Bengal, South India and many more regions. In West Bengal the celebration is famous as Bhai Phota which typically starts with sisters observing fast for their brothers, breaking it only after putting the auspicious tikka made of sandalwood, kohl and curd to the forehead of their brothers. After the less time taking rituals, comes the gala feast. Delicious meals and sweets for bhaidooj are relished by the family members.

The festival is also rejoiced with great fanfare and merriment in parts of Bihar, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh. While in each sphere it is known as a different name, and has its own rituals, the meaning behind the celebration remains the same.

Like any other Hindu carnival, Bhaidooj has surfaced from mythological legends. There are many stories as how this festival came into existence. One fable goes as Yamaraja- the Deity of God had a sister named Yami or Yamuna (the Holy River). According to the legends, every year after Deepavali, during Shukla Paksh of every Kartik Month, Yamuna called Yama to her home, where she offers him aarti and tiny gift of Bhaidooj. She fed him with delicious treat to his heart’s content. Getting moved with this sisterly love, Yama declared that those brothers who will visit their sister’s home on Bhai Dooj will escape death and odds of life.

There is another legend that after killing Narkasura, Lord Krishna visited his sister Subhadra’s home. She welcomed him with an aarti & applied tikka on his forehead wishing for his long life.
While Raksha bandhan is all about protecting sister, bhaidooj is all about praying for the longevity, success and prosperity of brother.

Even though the celebration has opulence significance and meaning behind it, for most Indian households, it’s a day to make whoopee, it’s a day to pamper brother and sister with unique bhaidooj gifts!

So, don’t get late, and make the day outstanding for your brother or sister with something special he/she would be fancy about!


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