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Bhai Dooj

Bhai Dooj




Bhai Dooj is a festival celebrated by Hindus of the notably India and Nepal. Bhai Dooj is one of the most popular and auspicious Hindu festivals and signifies the bonds of love between a brother and sister. On the day of the festival, sisters invite their brothers for a sumptuous meal often including their favorite dishes/sweets. The procedure may be different in Bihar and central India. The whole ceremony signifies the duty of a brother to protect his sister, as well as a sister's blessings for her brother.

Carrying forward the ceremony in traditional style, sisters perform aarti for their brother and apply a red tika on the brother's forehead. This tika ceremony on the occasion of Bhai Bij signifies the sister's sincerest prayers for the long and happy life of her brother and treat them with gifts. In return, brothers bless their sisters and may treat them also with gifts or cash.
As it is customary in HaryanaMaharashtra to celebrate the auspicious occasion of Bhau-beej, women who do not have a brother worship the moon god instead. They apply mehendi on girls as their tradition.
The sister whose brother lives far away from her and can not go to her house, sends her sincerest prayers for the long and happy life of her brother through the moon god. She performs aarti for the moon. This is the reason why children of Hindu parents affectionately call the moon Chandamama (Chanda means moon and mama means mother's brother).

The festivities

Sisters start making preparations for the festival days in advance. They buy sweets, gifts, fancy garments and other products. On the day of Bhai Dooj, sisters perform aarti and put tilak on the forehead of their brothers and also offer them sumptuous sweets. Brothers reciprocate by blessing their sisters and offering them gifts or cash. In some states such as Haryana and Maharashtra, women who have no brothers worship moon God. However, whatever name or form the festival may take, the significance is the same – it is a brother's duty to protect his sister who in turn worships for his good health and long life.

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