The celebration of Bhai Dooj is quite similar to Rakshabandhan. The festival occurs two days after Diwali. It is the last day of five-day-long Diwali festivities.

This year Bhai Dooj falls on Tuesday, October 29. The festival is widely celebrated by Hindus to mark the brother-sister relation. It falls on the second lunar day of the Shukla Paksha (bright fortnight) of the Kartika month. According to a mythological Hindu legend, ‘Yamraj’, the God of Death visited her sister Yamuna on this day. Yamuna welcomed her brother with a tilak ceremony and did his aarti. She offered him sweets and lavish food. Yamraj became very happy seeing the warm hospitality of Yamuna. So, he asked her to wish something and promised her of making it happen. Yamuna asked ‘Yama’ that on this day, all brothers should visit their sisters’ house and all sisters should welcome their brothers in the same way as she did. This is how the custom of Bhai Dooj came into practice.

There is another legend that revolves around the Bhai Dooj festivity. According to this legend, Lord Krishna visited her sister, Subhadra on this day after killing the demon Narkasura. Subhadra welcomed Krishna with flowers and sweets and applied a ceremonial tilak on his forehead. It is said that since then, Bhai Dooj is celebrated.

There are many other legends behind the festival. However, nowadays also, the bond between a brother and a sister is unique and special. They are friends, secret sharers, admirers and protectors of each other. The unconditional love they share is commendable. Bhai Dooj is a special day that gives the opportunity to express the feelings, emotions, and love between two siblings. The festival not only defines eternal love between them but it also strengthens their bond.

The name of the festival is made up of two words – Bhai and Dooj. Bhai means brother and Dooj means the second day after the new moon. On this day sisters invite their brothers to their house. They prepare a full-fledged lavish meal of their brothers’ choice to feed them. Also, they express their love by putting an auspicious tilak or a vermillion mark on their brothers’ forehead and perform an aarti of them by showing them the light of the holy flame as a mark of protection from evil forces. Sisters also pray to God for the well-being and longevity of their brothers against misfortune and bad things. In return, brothers promise to protect their sisters and follow their responsibilities of caring and loving them. Sisters are also lavished with gifts, goodies, and blessings from their brothers.

Nowadays, brothers and sisters who are far away from each other, send ‘Bhai Dooj tika’ by post in an envelope. Virtual tilaks and Bhai Dooj e-cards have also made it even easier to express your love to your siblings on this special occasion.

This festival is celebrated as a symbol of the divine bond of love between brother and sister.

Happy Bhai Dooj!