When Celebrated –
Meaning of Bhai Dooj - "Bhai" means brother and "Dooj" means the second day after the new moon which is a day of its celebration. Hence, it is celebrated on the 2nd day of the Shukla Paksha of Kartika, Hindu calendar month which falls between October and November. The occasion falls on the last day of the five day long celebrations of Diwali
Why Celebrated - Significance
The relationship of brothers and sisters has always been unique in Hindu families. While sisters shower great love and affection on brothers, brothers act as a protector of their sisters. Bhai Dooj is a Hindu festival celebrated just like Raksha Bandhan, a festival of bonding between sisters and brothers.
How & Where Celebrated
On this auspicious day, sisters apply tika / tilak on forehead of their brothers, do aarti and offer sweet and glass of water to eat and drink & pray to God for the well-being and prosperous life and brothers offer gifts to sisters to show their love and care for them. Finally they take blessing by touching the feet of elders.
The festival is celebrated in a large part of India. It is also called 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).
Celebrated since when
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.