Just after the festive fervour of Kali Puja and Diwali celebrations got over, the city got busy in Bhai Phota celebrations. Bhai Phota or Bhai Dooj is an occasion where the sisters pray for their brothers’ wellbeing and long lives. In a city, where every festival is incomplete without sweets, it is no surprise that almost every sweet shop had long queues in front of them. Some of the well-known shops introduced several items exclusively for the occasion of Bhai Phota.
And not just the sweet sellers, many confectioners and bakeries joined the party with their own range of products as well. Sweets were sold out well before noon. Initially, which started as a household-occasion, Bhai Phota today has readily taken to restaurants and fine-dining. For people who found it difficult to host a grand lunch or a dinner at home, several dine-outs had their doors open. Many of them had special items on their tables for the day, keeping in mind the homely nature of the occasion.
The Baidyabati Municipality in Hooghly today organised Bhai Phota where hundreds of people from the minority community voluntarily participated in the ceremony to express their feeling of oneness and brotherhood in the society. Eminent social workers, Bengali film artist Tanushree , people from different communities and from all walks of life took part in the same. Mr Subir Ghosh, the district ruling party leader said: “The voluntary participation of the minority section on Bhai phota ceremony have once more proved that people irrespective of religion, caste or creed delve into the love, oneness and brotherhood from each other.
It is the traditional culture of West Bengal to practice non-violence, tolerance and honour every religion, faith and belief and so it is a common practice of the people of the state to take part in every social and religious festival irrespective of religion, faith and belief.” He further added: “The rise of the communal forces in the society shall be prevented at every cost so that common people should not be misguided in the name of distorted religion.
The state chief minister Mamata Banerjee highly stresses on the sense of oneness and brotherhood among people belonging to different communities. On the auspicious day of Bhai phota, every brother and sister from all communities must take the pledge to stay united with love, brotherhood and a sense of safety and security.” One of the locals, Salna Khatun said that she eagerly waits for this day to renew the friendship and love with everyone.