Bhai Dooj 2020 – Festival of Brothers and Sisters

Bhai Dooj also known as Bhai Phota and Yama Dvitya is a renowned festival of India celebrated across the nation with enthusiasm. Celebrated on the last day of Diwali, Bhai Dooj 2020 has been observed on 16th November. According to astrologers, dwitya tithi began at 07:06 AM on 16th November and will end at 03:56 AM on 17th November.

How is Bhaidooj Celebrated?

Bhai Dooj or Bhai – Bij is the festival remarking the bond of love between brothers and sisters. It is celebrated on the last day of 5-day long Diwali festival. On this day, Sisters invite their brothers at their home for a scrumptious meal and apply tilak on their forehead wishing for their happiness, progress, and well-being. Likewise Raksha Bandhan, brothers bestow gifts to their sister and also promise to always protect them.

History and Significance of Bhai Dooj
Like every Indian festival, Bhai Dooj or Bhai-Bij also upholds a treasure of stories for devotees. The story varies from one place to another giving multiple reasons to brothers and sisters to celebrate this festival of love.

Legend of Yamraj and Yamuna
Yamraj – the God of Death was invited by his sister Yamuna several times but he couldn’t visit her for long time. When he finally got to meet her, Yamuna greeted his brother with love and prepared delicious meals for him. Paying honor to his brother and wishing his well-being, Yamuna applied a ceremonial Tilak on the forehead of Yamraj. Seeing such a dignified and courteous welcome Yamraj offered his sister to ask for anything. Yamuna wished to mark a day when Yamraj would visit her each year. And this is when the festival of Bhai Dooj started where each year brothers visit their sisters.

Legend of Krishna and Subhadra
There is a renowned legend in the southern parts of India that when Lord Krishna abolished the Demon King Narakasura and rescued 16000 queens, Subhadra (younger sister of Krishna) was remarkably happy. After assassinating Naraksura, Krishna visited Subhadra and Subhadra greeted him with Aarti and Tilak – a symbol of victory. This is when the ritual of wishing the victory of brothers started and named as Bhai Dooj.

Legend of Mahabali and Goddess Lakshmi
The popular story of Mahabali and the 5th avatar of Vishnu – Vamana is also associated with this festival. When Demon King Bali was pushed to Patal Lok by Lord Vishnu, Mahabali asked for a boon stating that he wants Lord Vishnu to be present at every door of Patal Lok. Vishnu agreed but Goddess Lakshmi (wife of Lord Vishnu) was upset as now her husband was a Dwarpalak (gatekeeper). She went to Patal Lok seeking help and met Bali. She asked Bali to be his brother as she didn’t have one. Bali agreed and asked her to make a wish. Goddess Lakshmi asked for his husband’s freedom. Marking a special bond of love between brother and sister, this day is celebrated.

Ritual and Traditions in different states
India being a nation of cultural diversification, celebrates this festival of brothers and sisters differently in every part of the country. Take a look at the variation of the celebration of this auspicious festival across India.
Bihar – The celebration of Bhai Dooj or Godhan Pooja a bit unique and a little absurd in Bihar. Here, sisters choose the freakish curses for their brothers and abuse them. Later on, they spur their own tongue for using such words and ask for forgiveness from their brothers. Along with this, the women create garland using cotton. It is believed that the longer the garland the longer the brother lives. After this they crush the formations with quaint-questioning which goes on like this – “Who are you crushing?’ and the sister answers “my brother’s enemies”. Strange traditions but that’s how you celebrate festivals in India.

West Bengal – In West Bengal, the festival is known as Bhai Phonta and celebrated the next day of Kali Pujan. On this day, sisters prepare a grand feast for their brothers and invite them. Also, sisters above the age of 5 years observe a fast for longevity of their brother’s age. A paste is prepared using sandalwood, ghee, and Kajal and used for Tilak.

Bhai Dooj 2020

Nepal – Bhai Dooj known as Bhaitihar is one of the most important festivals in Bihar after Vijay Dashami. It is celebrated on the third day of tyohar festival by worshipping Lord Yamraj (God of Death) where sisters pray for the longevity of their brother’s age. Sisters apply seven-colored tilak on their brother’s forehead and wish for their well-being. Book bus tickets from Delhi to Kathmandu here.

What is the science behind Bhai Dooj?
It is to be noted that both Raksha Bandhan and Bhai Dooj fall in Chaturmaas. As the name signifies, Chaturmas is a period of four months observed from July to October. Chaturmas is the time period when Lord Vishnu is in a state of meditation. As per the hindu calendar, Chaturmas 2020 has been observed for five months. These months are called holy months and it is the time of detoxification of mind and body.

bhai dooj festival 2020
Raksha Bandhan is celebrated at the beginning of Chaturmas and Bhai Dooj is observed at the end, Both festivals signify a pure and lust free relationship between a man and a woman – the sacred relationship of a brother and a sister. On Bhai Dooj, sisters make a paste of vermilion and rice and do Tilak with it. In Hindu Mythology, rice is a symbol of fulfilled desires and so is the love of bond between a brother and a sister.

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