Bhai Dooj, the festival celebrating the beautiful bond between a brother and sister is being celebrated today with much fervour across the country. The day is marked by sisters performing Tika ceremony and brothers offering them gifts in return. In addition to this, sisters also perform worship and pray for the longevity of their brothers. As per the legend, on this day God of death Yamraj visited his sister Yami who welcomed him with aarti, tilak and sweets, In return, Yamraj gave her a gift. Yamraj also declared that any brother receiving aarti and tilak by his sister on this day should not be scared of death and yamlok. For this reason, the day is also known as Yama Dwitya.
According to a legend, after killing the demon Narkasur, Krishna went to his sister Subhadra who welcomed him with aarti, tilak, sweets and flowers. The festival of Bhai Dooj is celebrated across different states across the country. Each state has its own unique way of celebrating the sister-brother bond and the festival is known by different names such as bhau beej, bhai bij, bhav bij, etc. Song and dance mark the festivities on this day, followed by delicious dishes and preparations known to that region. Here is how the Bhaiyya Dooj is celebrated in various parts of India:
Bhau Beej: The festival of Bhai Dooj is known as Bhau Beej in Maharashtra. On this day, sisters invite their brothers over for a meal and pray to God for their long life. Those who do not have brothers worship Moon-God.
Bhai Bij: The festival is known as Bhai Bij in Gujarat. It marks the end of Diwali festival.
Bhartu Dwitiya: In south India and Odisha, the festival is known as Bhatru Dwitiya. On this festival, sisters cook special recipes for their brothers who offer them gold, clothes and other gifts.
Bhav Bij: Goan and Konkani community mark the festival s Bhav Bij. The day is celebrated the same way as Bhai Bij.
Bhatri Ditya: In Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, the festival is celebrated as Bhatri Ditya. On this day, brothers pay a visit to their sisters and spend precious moments with them to bond in a better way
Bhai Phota: Bhai Phota is celebrated the on second day of the Kali Puja festival in parts of Assam and West Bengal.
Bhai Tikka: The festival is known as Bhai Tikka in Nepal and is the celebrated on third day opf Tihar (Diwali in Nepal). The celebrtions are huge as it is considered to be a very important day.