Bhai Dooj : Importance & Significance of Bhai Dooj in Hinduism

Rudraabhishek Puja Mahashivratri 2020

Bhai Dooj is widely celebrated by Hindus to mark the brother-sister relation, the celebration of this festival is quite similar to Raksha Bandhan.Bhaiya Dooj is a most prominent and legendary festival when sisters make a pray to God for their dearest brothers to get a long living and prosperous life. Sisters perform puja and tika ceremony as well as gets return gifts from brothers. It is also called in India at various places as Bhau Beej (in the Goa, Maharashtra and Karnataka), Bhai Tika (in Nepal), Bhathru Dwithiya, Bhau-deej, Bhai Phota (in Bengal), and Ningol Chakuba (in Manipur).

It is the most celebrated festival in India which is enjoyed two days after the main Diwali festival. According to the Gregorian calendar, it falls on the 2nd day of Shukla Paksha in the month of Kartika (between October and November). All the sisters awaken very early in the morning, worship and pray to God and Goddesses for the better future and health of their brothers. After puja ritual celebration takes place including tika ceremony by putting vermillion, dahi and rice on their forehead. After this ceremony they do aarti and offer sweet and glass of water to eat and drink. Finally they exchange gifts and take blessing by touching the feet of elders.

Bhaiya Dooj Celebrations

On this day the sisters get ready and put a 'Tilak’ or a vermillion mark on the forehead of their brothers and perform a 'aarti’ by showing him the holy flame and prays for his well being. Brothers and sisters exchange gifts with each other for all their love and care. 

Bhai Dooj is celebrated is most parts of India but is known by different names.

  • The celebration of this festival in Bihar is quite different where the sisters heap choicest of curses on their brothers and then they prick their own tongue as a punishment and ask for their brothers' forgiveness. Brothers' bless their sisters and pray for their well being.

  • In West Bengal, Bhai Dooj is known as Bhai Phota. Sisters fast in the morning until the traditional ceremonies are completed. The tilak is made of ghee, sandalwood (chandan) and kohl (kajal). Kheer and coconut laddoos are among the traditional sweets of the festival.

  • In Gujarat, it is celebrated as Bhai Beej with traditional tilak ceremony and perform aarti (prayers).

  • The Marathi speaking communities of Maharashtra and Goa, celebrate this festival as Bhav Bij. The sisters draw a square on the floor where the brothers are supposed to sit only after he eats a bitter fruit called Karith. Basundi Poori and Shrikhand Poori are the popular dishes of the festival.

Shloka for Bhai Dooj (in Sanskrit)

"Bhratus tabaa grajaataaham, 
Bhunksa bhaktamidam shuvam 
Preetaye yama raajasya 
Yamunaah Visheshatah" 

Translation in English: 
I'm your sister, 
Eat this sacred rice, 
For the pleasure of 
"Yam Raj" and "Yamuna"

Mantra for Bhai Duj (in Bengali)

"Bhaier kapale dilam phonta, 
Jamer Duare porlo kanta, 
Jamuna Dae Jomke phonta, 
Ami di amar bhaike phonta, 
Bhai jeno hoy lohar vata." 

English Translation: 
I put a "phota" on my brother's fore-head, 
To make my brother immortal "Yamuna" gives a "phota" to "Yam", 
I give a "phota" to my brother Brother, may becomes tough as iron. 

History Of Bhai Dooj

According to the Hindu Mythology, it is considered that the God of death, Yamraj, had visited his lovable sister named Yami (Yamuna) at this special day. His sister welcomed him by aarti and tilak ceremony. She offered him a garland and special dishes including sweets to eat. He had returned her sister a unique gift as a symbol of his love and care towards her sister. At that day Yamraj had declared that the brother who would receive tilak and aarti by their sister, he would never be frightened. That’s why the same day is called as the Yama Dwitiya.

According to another story, Hindu Lord Krishna had returned to his sister, Subhadra, after killing the demon king Narakasur where he was welcomed by his sister with tilak, aarti, sweets and flowers.


Significance Of BhaiDOOJ

People in Haryana, Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Goa celebrate this festival with the great passion and fun. It is the time when brothers and sisters remember their responsibilities for each other. It reunites and renews the relationship and love of brothers and sisters when all the members of the family get together to celebrate it. There is a sweet dish in the Maharashtra known as the basundi poori or kheerni poori.

This festival brings a lot of happiness, affection and warmth between the relationship of brother and sister. This festival is a way to present the love and care of brothers and sisters to each other. Five betel nuts and betel leaves are placed at the brother’s had by their sisters. Prayer is done by the sisters by pouring water on their hands.


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