Meaning of Bhai Dooj
Bhai means brother and Dooj is the second day after new moon.
What Is Bhai Dooj?
The endearing festival, the cousin of Rakshabandhan is round the corner. Bhai Dooj/Bhai Beej/Bhai Tika/Bhai Ponta is a Hindu festival celebrated in India and Nepal on the second lunar day of the Shukla Paksha in the month of Kartika according to the Hindu Calendar. This festival falls a day after Diwali or Tihar festival and also a day after the Holi festival.
This festival is similar to Rakshabandhan because on this day brothers give gifts to their sisters. In South India, this festival is celebrated as Yama Dwitiya. On this day, sisters pray for the long and healthy life of their brothers. Let's read more about the significance of this festival and its celebrations.
History and Significance
Most Hindu festivals lay stress on the importance of family bonding and relationships. While married women fast for the healthy and long lives of their husbands on Karwa Chauths, doting sisters pray for the long life of their brothers on Bhai Dooj and Rakshabandhan.
Yet, every festival has a unique historical significance and origin. A brother-sister relation in India is given a lot of importance. It is unique and endearing. Bhai Dooj is a lovely festival which celebrates the love between two siblings. On this day, a woman, bound by her day-to-day marital chores, visits her native place to meet her brothers and parents. This festival pays homage to the pious relationship between a brother and sister and also makes their bond stronger.
With modern influence, the festival today has taken a different form, yet the essence still prevails. Most greetings today are conveyed in the form of emails, e-greetings, phone conversations and online gifts of chocolates and alcoholic beverages too. Sisters who live quite far send their love with online greetings and gifts. Sisters who stay close, celebrate the day with a movie or dinner get together with their brothers. This festival gives siblings and relatives yet another chance to rejoice, meet, spread happiness and laughter. It strengthens their bond and also rejuvenates it.
Legend says, Lord Krishna visited his sister Subhadra's place after defeating demon king Narkasur. She gave him a warm welcome and put a vermillion mark on Lord Krishna's forehead.
On this day, sisters invite their brothers for a sumptuous meal including their brother’s favourite dishes and sweets. In Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, the festival is celebrated in a different way. Yet, the real essence of the ceremony signifies a brother’s duty to protect his sister forever and also signifies a sister’s undying love and blessings for her brother.
The ceremony is initiated with a traditional style aarti for the brother and then application of a red tikka on the brother’s forehead. In some states, this is known as the tikka ceremony too. While smearing the forehead with tikka, the sister prays for the long and happy life of her brother and also showers him with gifts. The brother, in return blesses his sister and gives her gifts or cash.
In Haryana and Maharashtra, every household celebrates the auspicious occasion of Bhau-beej and the sisters who do not have a brother, worship the Moon God instead. As a tradition, women and girls apply mehendi on their hands.
Those sisters who live far away and cannot meet their brothers in person, they send their love and blessings via gifts and cards. They also pray to the Moon God to convey their love to their brother. This is the reason, why the Moon is known as Chanda Mama in Hindu culture. The moon has been symbolized as the brother of married women and hence her children address him as Mama (mother’s brother).
This festival is celebrated as Bhai Ponta in West Bengal. The celebration here is grander. It is marked with a grand feast arranged for the brothers and some traditional rituals. For this ceremony to commence, both the brother and sister should be above five years of age.
In Haryana, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Goa, this festival is celebrated as Bhai Beej. Sisters shower love and gifts to their brothers to add charm and gaiety to the occasion. This is also a family reunion time in these places. Close friends and relatives are also invited to make the celebration a lot of fun.
Special delicacies like basundi poori and kheer poori are prepared and usually fed by sisters to their brothers. Sisters also give gifts to their brothers in return from some cash gifts from them.
1. Sisters perform aarti for their brothers.
2. They then apply vermilion on their brothers’ forehead.
3. Brothers bless their sisters and also gift them various things.
Interesting Facts on Bhai Dooj
There are many different names given to the same festival – Bhai Phota in Bengal, Bahi Bij/Bhau Beej or Bhav Bij in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Goa.
This festival is a big one in Nepal and is called Bhai Tika or Bhai Tihar. On this day, sisters pray to Yamraj, God of Death, asking for a long life for their brothers. The ritual involves sisters marking the forehead of their brothers with a seven coloured long tikka. The rest of the ceremony is similar to that performed in India.
Women who do not have a brother, worship the Moon God instead of in states of Haryana and Maharashtra.
Contemporary Ways of Celebrating this Festival
Over the years, the festival has taken a more contemporary form with brothers and sisters celebrating the day together doing activities which they love.
Visit to an Amusement Park
Do you have some awesome childhood memories of visiting a theme park with your brother? Why not relive those moments by planning a trip to an amusement park this Bhai Dooj? While the festival is all about spending precious moments with your sibling, nothing can prove to be a better idea. Play silly pranks on each other and tease and pull each other’s hair! This lovely bond never ages with time!
Dinner and Movie
Siblings generally have the taste for the same cuisine growing up. So if you both had loved a particular restaurant as children, why not relive those memories this Bhai dooj? Binge eat on your favourite cuisine and enjoy a comedy movie together. This will be the perfect way of celebrating this brother-sister-love-rejuvenating-festival.
Cook up a Feast
If you are an elder sister, then you could show some love to each other on this day, rather than just pulling each other’s legs! Cook up a feast for your dear brother including all of his favourite dishes. Make it his best Bhai Dooj ever!
Buy These Gifts Online to Make Your Celebration Complete
Of course, Bhai Dooj without gifts is incomplete. Now you can shop amazing Bhai Dooj gifts from the comfort of your home. We have selected some unique gifts online. Browse through the list and order now!
Idea 1 - Tease Your Brother Hamper
If you have grown up teasing your brother, then here is another chance to revive those memories. This cool ‘Adopted Bhai Combo’ contains a mug with the image of a lone, adopted boy. Tease your sibling yet again with an ‘Adopted’ tag. This combo has been specially curated for a brother gift. There is a Rakhi with a quirky message – The Adopted One. You can gift this set even on Bhai Dooj. There is also a magnet with the message - Limited Edition Super Bro. This endearing message will definitely calm your brother down after getting the ‘Adopted One’ mug and rakhi. The magnet can also be customized with 2 photos. Grab this hamper from Oye Happy. It is priced at Rs. 695 only.
Idea 2 - Nehru Jacket for Your Dashing Brother
Being the elder sister, you always knew best! Here is another chance to dress up your smart brother in some super dashing garments. We have chosen this Nehru Jacket from mirraw.com priced at Rs.1,202 only. This gold printed jacquard Nehru jacket has a Chinese collar and a smart slanting stitching pattern. The jacket is sleeveless and looks best worn as a vest over a formal shirt and trousers. It will also look good with a cream-coloured kurta and pants.
Idea 3 - Personalized Wooden Plaque for Brother
On this festive occasion, seize the opportunity of gifting your brother a personalized wooden plaque that he can treasure forever. You need to upload your brother’s image on the website to have it personalized on the plaque. The wordings " a brother is a gift to the heart and a friend to the soul ", will rejuvenate your sibling bond. Grab this one from archiesonline.com for Rs. 499.
Idea 4 - Chocolates and Bouquet Hamper
If you have always eaten your brother’s share of chocolates as a kid, then now is the time to gift him one full chocolate box, strictly not to be shared this time! This Bhai dooj, shower immense love, blessings and chocolates on your dearest brother to show him you how much you care. The gift hamper also contains a bouquet of 10 different roses. There is also a roli chawal pack with the gift hamper to make it an ideal tikka gift. This one is a perfect Bhai dooj gift if you stay far away and cannot meet your brother in person. Grab this one from floweraura.com for Rs. 1,399.
Idea 5 - Good Luck Plant and Cushion
giftalove.com brings a lovely Bhai Dooj gift that will always remind him of your sisterly affection. It contains a potted money plant with a ‘happy bhai dooj’ message along with a recron filled white cushion featuring the words ‘ a brother is a gift to the heart and a friend to the spirit’. Money is considered lucky and is believed to bring wealth, health and prosperity. If you wish to express your immense love and care for your brother, then this hamper says it all! This hamper is priced at Rs. 899.
Idea 6 - Wrist Watch
It is always a pleasure to receive a wrist watch as a gift. It features a smart wrist belt made of steel. This is a classic wrist watch that will not only adorn your brother’s wrist watch but will always remind him of your love for him. The dial colour is white and you also get 2 years warranty on this product. This cool Skagen Analogue watch from talash.com is priced at Rs. 12,895.
Idea 7 - Goodie Basket
If you do not want to stick to just one product while gifting your brother, then this goodie basket will be just perfect. Receiving a goodie basket will excite your brother. The package contains one beard oil, one jaguar perfume, a jar of almonds, a jar of yummy chocolate, a facewash and a black coloured wallet. This one is a thoughtful hamper for your cute brother who has now grown up into a dashing man. This basket of goodies priced at Rs. 4,349 is available at myflowertree.com.
Idea 8 - Tikka Hamper
What to send a traditional gift on Bhai Dooj? This tikka hamper contains a moli thread, a roli chawal pack, Chandan misri and a jar of chocolate popcorn of 80gm. You also have the option of sending a personal message along with your tikka hamper. Do not worry if you cannot put the tikka yourself on your brother’s forehead. This hamper will convey your wishes and blessings in the best possible way. Shop this hamper online from Amazon for Rs. 249.
Idea 9 - 3D Emoji Mugs
Want to tease your brother yet again? Gift this funny emoji shaped 3D mug to your brother on Bhai Dooj. It will always remind him of the bond that you shared. There are four emoji mugs to choose from. The mugs are made from yellow coloured ceramic material and they come with a lid. These mugs can also be used as a stationary holder. It is priced at Rs. 899 at bigsmall.in.
Idea 10 - Grooming Hamper
Want to gift something stylish and useful this year? How about this grooming hamper containing a pair of cufflinks, belt, handkerchief, belt and a Park Avenue Deo. The perfect gift for your classy brother, this one will convey your love and regards in a stylish way. This hamper is priced at Rs. 2,199 and is available at oyegifts.com.
Don't Restrict Yourself till Festivals
Someone says that there is no time for showing love. So, it's not that only a festival you should treat your brother or sister special. A pack of chocolate you can share any time. The relation of brother and sister is much more than festival gifts and sweets still little sweet can add more sweetness to the relation. Try to give the gift with a pack of sweets too.
Sisters and brothers usually fight with each other. One can gift something to others to end the fight and that will make the relationship much stronger than ever. So, Don't wait till the fest just gift something to your loving brother/sister. Wishing you a Happy Bhai Dooj this year and forever.