The Indian festival of Bhai Dooj is celebrated as a symbol of love and affection between brothers and sisters. The auspicious day is celebrated in India with great enthusiasm and zeal. On the day of the festival, sisters apply ‘teeka’ on the forehead of their brothers. The teeka is prepared with vermilion, sandal paste, roli or kumkum (red turmeric). The brothers give gifts to their sisters who pray for their brothers’ long life. The brothers express their feelings for their sister and show their gratitude by sharing gifts and sweets. The festival celebrates the wonderful brother-sister relationship that reflects all the love shared and fills the heart of a sister with unmatched happiness.
The Bhaiyya Duj festival falls on the second day after Diwali that is on ‘Shukla Paksha Dwitiya’ in the Hindi month of ‘Kartik’. ‘Dwitiya’ means ‘Duj’ or the second day after the new moon. The festival is quite popular in different regions of India and abroad and is known by different names such as ‘Bhai-Dooj’ in north India, ‘Bhav-Bij’ in Maharashtra, ‘Bhai-Phota’ in Bengal and ‘Bhai-Teeka’ in Nepal. The festival is marked by the singing of songs and reciting of ‘kathaa’.
Bhai Dooj Katha: According to Bhai Dooj Katha, Lord Surya Narayan’s wife was called Chaya who gave birth to Yamraj and Yamuna. Yamuna had great affection for Yamraj and invited him home for dinner, but Yamraj continued to postpone. On the day of Kartik Shukla, Yamuna invited him once again and this time he could not refuse. Yamuna was delighted to see Yamraj at his home and offered him great food. Yamraj was so happy with this hospitality that he asked his sister to ask for a boon. Yamuna asked Yamraj to pay her a visit every year on this day. She also asked him to declare that any sister applying tika on the forehead of their brother should not be scared of him. For this reason, Yamraj and Yamuna are worshipped on the day of Bhai Dooj.