Bhai Dooj is observed as the festival of love and affection between brothers and sisters. It is celebrated to strengthen the bond between the two. Bhai Dooj is celebrated by Hindus on the second lunar day of Shukla Paksha in the Vikram Samwat Hindu Calendar month of Kartika. The festival is known by many names like Bhai Bij, Bhai Phonta, Bhau Beej or Bhav Bij etc.
This day is a time for family reunions as all brothers and sisters get together. On this day, the sister invites her brother for a grand feast at her house. She applies a tika or tilak( vermillion mark) on her brother’s forehead and performs aarti with the holy flame and offer prayers to the Gods for his safety and good health. In return the brother presents her with gifts as a token of his love towards her.
According to the Hindu mythology, Yamraj, The God of Death once visited his sister Yami on this special day. His sister, Yami who is also known as Yamuna welcomed him with love and affection by performing an aarti and a tilak ceremony. She also gave him sweets and presented a beautiful garland. He expressed his gratitude by showering her with gifts. Later on he declared that on this auspicious day every year, all brothers who would receive aarti and tilak ceremony by their sisters should never be fearful of death and Yamlok i.e. why this day is also known as Yama Dwitiya.
Another popular legend says that when Lord Krishna visited his sister Subhadra after killing the demon King Narakasura, he was welcomed with sweets and flowers by her. She also applied tilak and performed aarti. Some believe this to be the origin of this festival.
Bhai Dooj Muharat 2017:
21 October 2017; Time: 1:31pm to 3:49pm