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Celebrating Bhai Dooj: A Tradition of Sibling Love

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

The festival of Bhai Dooj, marking its celebration two days after Chhoti Diwali, falls this year on November 15. Similar to Rakshabandhan, it’s a joyous occasion honoring the bond between brothers and sisters. On this day, sisters pray for their brothers’ longevity, following a tradition where they tie Roli and Mauli threads on their brothers’ wrists, share sweets, and offer coconuts.

Regional Variations in Celebrations

Across India, Bhai Dooj is observed with varied rituals. In Northern India, sisters gift Tilak and Akshat to their brothers, while in Eastern India involves gifting items post-Tilak with the blowing of a conch shell. The day entails sisters observing a fast for their brothers’ well-being, culminating with feeding them.

The Essence of Bhai Dooj Celebrations

Bhai Dooj encompasses a belief in offering Tilak and food, believed to fulfill wishes and safeguard against Yamraj’s fear. It’s believed that a brother visiting his sister and partaking in a meal can avert untimely death and reduce accident risks.

Myths Surrounding Bhai Dooj

In Skandapuran, the story unfolds about Lord Surya’s children—Yamraj and Yamuna—where Yamuna’s kind-heartedness led her to live in Goloka. Another tale ties the festival to Lord Krishna meeting his sister Subhadra after defeating the demon Narakasura, emphasizing the significance of applying Tilak as Subhadra did.

Symbolism and Tradition

On Bhai Dooj, bathing in the Yamuna together and seeking forgiveness from Yamraj are believed to strengthen the bond between siblings. Celebrating this day with full rituals is believed to bring happiness, prosperity, property, and financial stability to sisters and brothers.

The celebration of Bhai Dooj stands as a testament to the enduring bond shared by siblings, rooted in tradition and mythology, enriching the fabric of Indian culture and reinforcing the significance of familial ties.

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