bhai dooj celebration customs - Bhai Duj

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Friday, August 24, 2018

bhai dooj celebration customs

bhai dooj celebration customs 

Bhai Dooj » Customs and Traditions

Customs and Traditions

Customs and traditions are an inherent part of the rich Indian culture. In India, a lot of festivals occur one after the other, throughout the year. Each and every festival celebrated in India has its own social and cultural importance. Among these, one of the most significant and awaited festival is the Bhai Dooj festival. The festival is named Bhai Dooj as it focuses on the brothers, and celebrated on the second day after the new-moon (Amavasya), or Diwali day. This day is also the third day of the Kartik month, according to the Hindu calendar.
The basic theme behind the origination of the Bhai Dooj festival is believed to be the safety of women. But, there are also several mythological narrations associated with this festival. Two most popular stories are as mentioned below:
It is believed that once Yamraj (the god of death) visited her sister Yami. His sister became very delighted to see him and applied a tilak on his forehead. At this, Yamraj became so happy that he announced that the person whose sister will apply tilak on his forehead on that day would become free from the fear of death and hell. From that day, the tradition of Bhai Dooj came into existence.
Another mythological tale says that after killing the devil named, Narkasur, lord Krishna went to his sister Subhadra. The day on which lord Krishna visited his sister was the second day after the new-moon day, or the dooj day. Subhadra gave her brother a warm welcome by doing his arti, applying a tilak on his forehead, sprinkling flowers over him, and offering him sweets. From then onwards, it became a tradition and got fame as the Bhai Dooj festival.
On the auspicious and delightful occasion of Bhai Dooj, sisters apply tilak (a holy mark) on their brothers' forehead. They perform artiof their beloved and caring brothers and offer sweets to them, as well. Brothers also take pledge of their sisters' safety and give them some gift or present as a reciprocation. Bhai Dooj is really a great festival, which clearly reflects the customs and traditions of India.
Bhai Dooj  / Bhau-Beej / Bhai Tika / Bhai Phonta  is a festival celebrated by Hindus of the Indian subcontinent, notably India and Nepal, on the second lunar day of Shukla Paksha (bright fortnight) in the Vikram Samvat Hindu calendar or of Shalivahan Shaka calendar month of Kartika. It is celebrated during the Diwali or Tihar festival.
The celebrations of this day are similar to the festival of Raksha Bandhan. On this day, brothers get gifts from sisters.However,in Maharashtra, the brother gives gifts to his sisters.
In the southern part of the country, the day is celebrated as Yama Dwitiya.
In Haryana, basically, a special ritual also followed, a dry coconut (named as gola in regional language) with klewa tied along its width for worshipping is also used at the time of doing aarti of your brother.
  • Bhai Dooj (Hindi: भाई दूज) in entire Northern part of India, observed during the Diwali festival. This is also the second day of the Vikrami Samvat New Year, the calendar followed in Northern India (including Kashmir), which starts from the lunar month of Kārtika. It is widely celebrated by Awadhis in Uttar Pradesh, Maithils in Bihar and people from various other ethnic groups. The first day of this New Year is observed as Govardhan Pūja.
  • Bhai Tika (Nepali) in Nepal, where it is the most important festival after Dashain (Vijaya Dashmi / Dussehra). Observed on the fifth day of Tiharfestival, it is widely celebrated by Newari, Tharu, Bahun and Chhetri people.
  • Bhai Phonta (Bengali: ) in Bengal and it takes place every year on the second day after Kali Puja.
  • Bhai Bij, Bhau Beej, or Bhav Bij (Marathi:  amongst the Gujarati, Marathi and Konkani-speaking communities in the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka.
  • Another name for the day is Yamadwitheya or Yamadvitiya, after a legendary meeting between Yama the god of Death and his sister Yamuna (the famous river) on Dwitheya (the second day after new moon).
  • Other names include Bhatru Dviteeya, or Bhatri Ditya.
According to a popular legend in Hindu mythology, after slaying the evil demon Narakasura, Lord Krishna visited his sister Subhadra who gave him a warm welcome with sweets and flowers. She also affectionately applied tilaka on Krishna's forehead. Some believe this to be the origin of the festival.
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 Haryana, Maharashtra 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.
bhai dooj celebration customs
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).
Bhai Phonta in West Bengal is celebrated with much splendor. The ceremony is marked with many rituals along with a grand feast arranged for the brothers.It is necessary that, both brother and sister are more than 5 years of age.
The festival of Bhai Bij is popular in Haryana, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Goa and is celebrated with great fervour and gaiety. Brothers and sisters look forward to the occasion with immense enthusiasm. To add charm to the occasion, Bhai Bij gifts are exchanged between brothers and sisters as a token of love and appreciation.
Bhav Bij is a time for family reunions as all brothers and sisters in the family get together. Close relatives and friends are also invited to celebrate the Bhav Bij in many families.
Special dishes for the festival include the Maharashtra sweet called basundi poori or kheerni poori. On this occasion sisters give gifts to their brothers.
India is a land of festivals, and customs and traditions are integral part of Indian culture. Every festival is culturally important in its own self. And one such festival happens to be Bhai Dooj. This festival falls on the second day after Diwali and its spirit is to cherish the bond of love and affection that brother and sister share. Bhai Dooj is one of the most awaited festivals that display unique cultural traditions in different regions of India. The festival of Bhai Dooj develops within us the feeling of love and care towards our siblings.

On this day, sisters invite and offer their brothers with scrumptious meal. A special square shaped space is drawn with flowers and beautified with corn powder by sisters. As per the tradition, the brothers have to step in that square area. Before he enters it, brother is made to eat a bitter fruit. There's a legend related to it, which says that Lord Krishna tasted this fruit before he went to slay the demon Narakasura. And after killing the demon, Krishna visited his sister Subhadra who welcomed him heartily by applying tilak on Krishna's forehead. Since then the custom of celebrating Bhai Dooj or Bhaubeej started.

Carrying this occasion in traditional style, sisters decorate puja thalis with sweets, tika, rice, coconut and flowers. Brothers sit in front of their sisters with covered heads, and sisters perform aarti and apply tika on their forehead. She then presents him with sweets and prays to god for his long life and good health. The tradition of gifting is also involved in this festival. The brother reciprocates by showering blessings and gifts on his sisters. Gifts may be in cash or kind, depending upon the understanding of brother-sister. Women who have no brother, worship moon God on this auspicious occasion.

Also, brothers have to visit their sisters on this day and fulfil the custom of 'Bhagini Hastha Bhojanam', which means brothers have to consume the meal prepared by their sisters. This tradition was started by Lord Yama, God of Death. He when visited his sister Yamuna, she welcomed him warmly by adorning his neck with garland, and applying tika on his forehead. She served him a lavish meal. Yama delighted by her gesture declared that whoever receives tika from his sister on his day will bring himself good luck, good health and prosperity.
For Hindus, the story behind each festival play a very important role in the formation of their culture and have a very deep significance and values. Most of the Indian festivals are attached to specific characters and personalities that helps the masses to understand and know the true significance of the festival. Just like all important Indian Festivals, Bhai dooj also has a story to follow that have carved a niche with its unique presence and strength.

Through generations, the story of Bhai Dooj has been passed from generation to generation either by word of mouth or through carefully stored scriptures. The narration of the story marks the end of the Bhai dooj puja. Once the various rituals of Bhai dooj such as the sister applying the teeka on the forehead of the brother, giving him the eatables and in return receiving the gifts are over, the women and children sit around, to hear the story behind Bhai Dooj from the elders of the family.

The story goes that once there was a family living in a village that had only a sister and a brother. The sister was very elder to her brother, thus when she got married, the brother was at a very tender age. The boy did not remembered any thing about his sister's marriage. After the marriage, the sister never returned to her mother's home. As the brother grew up, the image of her sister started fading with each passing years. He terribly missed his sister, especially on the Bhai Dooj day, as he used to see his friends with teeka on their forehead and plates full of sweets.

On one particular Bhai dooj, when the boy had turned up into a handsome young boy, he inquired his mother about the reason as to why his sister never visited her original home after her marriage. The mother replied that she does not come because there is a big forest between this village and the one in which she lives and there is a big river flowing in between. One has to cross the river by boat and then there are wild animals which fill people with so much terror, that many people do not travel through the forest.

Inspite of knowing the immense difficulty he will have to face, the young brother decided to visit his sister on the next Bhai dooj day. The mother reminded him again of the dangers, but he did not listen, and so it was decided that he would go and visit her. When the time came she told him to tell his sister that she should now come over and choose a suitable bride for him.

The boy set off and on his way he faced the rising level of river, which made it impossible for him to cross the road. There was also the danger of snakes. The boy requested the river not to drown him and told the snakes that they can bite him on his return journey, after he meets his only sister. The snake agreed, and the boy proceeded. Now, he came to a mountain, which started through big stones on him, and he again pleaded with it to let him go. The mountain also agreed. When the boy was near his sister's village, a big tiger appeared and decided to eat him up. He also pleaded to the tiger and promised him that the tiger can feed on him on his return journey.

The poor boy knew now that is days were numbered, still, he eagerly went along to meet his only sister. He entered the house, and saw that she was doing the Bhai Dooj puja. The sister on seeing him after such a long time, welcomed her brother with a smile and embraced him. She at once brought lovely fruits and sweet meats to eat. She set about preparing kheer, puri, kachori, and lots of other tasty items. When her husband came after work, both of them provided a very enjoyable and memorable time to the young lad, so that he was full of joy.

Days passed, and it was time for the brother to take leave of his sister and brother-in-law. Before returning back, the brother narrated the whole incident to his sister and told her that his days were numbered and that he is soon going to die. The sister was shocked, but she decided to accompany him for the return journey. She secretly packed some meat for the tiger, some milk for the snake, flowers of silver and gold for the mountain and some roli and rice for the river.

Soon they were on their way and, of course, the tiger came first to eat up the brother. The sister gave him the meat and he went his way. Then came the mountain, which wanted to fall on her brother. She quickly performed puja with the gold and silver flowers and the mountain was very pleased with the offerings and stopped falling. Then it was the turn of the snake, and it was given the milk, and went away satisfied. They now reached the river and as was expected, it started to rise, but the sister subdued it by doing puja with roli and rice, and the river went down.




Both, brother and sister were very happy to escape the dangers of the forest and were anxious to reach home. The sister was now tired and thirsty. Soon she saw some gypsies working far away. She wanted to ask them for water, so the brother sat down under a tree-happy to be alive-and she went to the gypsies and got some water. Their the gypsies predicted that the danger was not over and her brother will die very soon. She asked them to tell her some way by which this calamity could be averted. One old woman came to her rescue and suggested that until her brother gets married, she should go on cursing him, right from now on and continuous to curse him all through the wedding and also insists on getting all rituals done to her first, only then this boy can be saved.

As soon as she reached near her brother, she started to curse him and to abuse him. The poor fellow was taken by surprise, but she continued calling him bad names. This thing continued even when they reached home. The mother, along with the villagers were very surprised at the nasty behavior of the sister, but no said anything as she was married and had came to her mother's place after a long time.

Soon, the brother's marriage was fixed to a beautiful girl. Still the sister went on cursing on any pretext. Everyone wanted the wedding to be over as soon as possible and the sister to be sent back to her village. On the wedding day, she insisted that all rituals be performed on her before her brother. The sister insisted that they tie the sehra on her forehead first. She found a small snake in the sehra instead of a string. She pulled out the snake. Next, the sister insisted that the barat (marriage procession) should go from the back door and not from the front door and no decorations be made. When the barat was to start, somehow the sister had fallen asleep. Ignoring her words, the barat started from beautiful front porch. But, no longer had everyone gather, the whole porch fell down, and narrowly missed the groom.

Now the time for the pheras (going round the fire) arrived and the sister had again gone to sleep. As soon as the first round of the pheras was done, the boy fell down in a dead faint, because of the evil spirits who had come to take him away. The sister woke up on hearing the noise and came cursing in to the courtyard. Hearing the abuses and seeing her blazing eyes, the evil spirits fled. It was now time for the boy and the girl to give kheer to each other. They let the sister have the first morsel from which she took out a hedgehog's spiked needle and quickly put it in her tiny bag as well.

The wedding was finally over and every one including the mother and brother were keen to see the sister leave. Before leaving for her husbands place, the sister narrated the prediction of the gypsies and gave the reason for her bad behavior. Everyone had tears in their eyes and they hugged her feet, and all present said with one voice: 'Let everyone have a sister like this, who is willing to be talked ill of, and will go about looking wild and angry even during a wedding, although it was to be the only wedding in the family - all this just to save her brother and family from disaster.

Thus, the custom is prevalent that a brother does not go to his sisters house for the teeka; instead the sisters bring or send the teeka to the brother, as danger may lurk on the way.

Nowhere is the bond of brotherly-sisterly love glorified with such grandeur as in India. Hindus celebrate this special relationship twice every year, with the festivals of Raksha Bandhan and Bhai Dooj.

History of bhai dooj festival

What, When and How
After the high voltage celebrations of Diwali, the festival of lights and firecrackers, sisters all over India get ready for 'Bhai Dooj' - when sisters ceremonize their love by putting an auspicious tilak or a vermilion mark on the forehead of their brothers and perform an aarti of him by showing him the light of the holy flame as a mark of love and protection from evil forces. Sisters are lavished with gifts, goodies, and blessings .

Bhai Dooj comes every year on the fifth and last day of Diwali, which falls on a new moon night. The name 'Dooj' means the second day after the new moon, the day of the festival, and 'Bhai' means brother.

Myths and Legends
Bhai Dooj is also called 'Yama Dwiteeya' as it's believed that on this day, Yamaraj, the Lord of Death and the Custodian of Hell, visits his sister Yami, who puts the auspicious mark on his forehead and prays for his well-being. So it's held that anyone who receives a tilak from his sister on this day would never be hurled into hell.

According to one legend, on this day, Lord Krishna, after slaying the Narakasura demon, goes to his sister Subhadra who welcomes him with the holy lamp, flowers, and sweets and puts the holy protective spot on her brother's forehead.

Yet another story behind the origin of Bhai Dooj says that when Mahavir, the founder of Jainism, attained nirvana, his brother King Nandivardhan was distressed because he missed him and was comforted by his sister Sudarshana. Since then, women have been revered during Bhai Dooj.

Bhai Phota
In Bengal, this event is called 'Bhai Phota', which is performed by the sister who religiously fasts until she applies a 'phota or phonta' or mark with sandalwood paste on her brother's forehead, offers him sweets and gifts and prays for his long and healthy life.

Every brother eagerly awaits this occasion that reinforces the bond between brothers and sisters and their affectionate relationship. It's an opportunity for a good feast at the sister's place, coupled with an enthusiastic exchange of gifts, and merriment amid the resounding of conch shells in every Bengali household.

Underlying Significance
Like all other Hindu festivals, Bhai Dooj has got a lot to do with family ties and social attachments. It serves as a good time, especially for a married girl, to get together with her own family, and share the post-Diwali glee.


Nowadays, sisters who are unable to meet their brothers send their tika - the spot of protection - in an envelope by post. Virtual tilaks and Bhai Dooj e-cards have made it even easier for brothers and sisters, who are far away from each other, especially remember their siblings on this propitious occasion.

For Hindus, the story behind each festival play a very important role in the formation of their culture and have a very deep significance and values. Most of the Indian festivals are attached to specific characters and personalities that helps the masses to understand and know the true significance of the festival. Just like all important Indian Festivals, Bhai doojalso has a story to follow that have carved a niche with its unique presence and strength.



Through generations, the story of Bhai Dooj has been passed from generation to generation either by word of mouth or through carefully stored scriptures. The narration of the story marks the end of the Bhai dooj puja. Once the various rituals of Bhai dooj such as the sister applying the teeka on the forehead of the brother, giving him the eatables and in return receiving the gifts are over, the women and children sit around, to hear the story behind Bhai Dooj from the elders of the family.

The story goes that once there was a family living in a village that had only a sister and a brother. The sister was very elder to her brother, thus when she got married, the brother was at a very tender age. The boy did not remembered any thing about his sister's marriage. After the marriage, the sister never returned to her mother's home. As the brother grew up, the image of her sister started fading with each passing years. He terribly missed his sister, especially on the Bhai Dooj day, as he used to see his friends with teeka on their forehead and plates full of sweets.

On one particular Bhai dooj, when the boy had turned up into a handsome young boy, he inquired his mother about the reason as to why his sister never visited her original home after her marriage. The mother replied that she does not come because there is a big forest between this village and the one in which she lives and there is a big river flowing in between. One has to cross the river by boat and then there are wild animals which fill people with so much terror, that many people do not travel through the forest.

Inspite of knowing the immense difficulty he will have to face, the young brother decided to visit his sister on the next Bhai dooj day. The mother reminded him again of the dangers, but he did not listen, and so it was decided that he would go and visit her. When the time came she told him to tell his sister that she should now come over and choose a suitable bride for him.

The boy set off and on his way he faced the rising level of river, which made it impossible for him to cross the road. There was also the danger of snakes. The boy requested the river not to drown him and told the snakes that they can bite him on his return journey, after he meets his only sister. The snake agreed, and the boy proceeded. Now, he came to a mountain, which started through big stones on him, and he again pleaded with it to let him go. The mountain also agreed. When the boy was near his sister's village, a big tiger appeared and decided to eat him up. He also pleaded to the tiger and promised him that the tiger can feed on him on his return journey.

The poor boy knew now that is days were numbered, still, he eagerly went along to meet his only sister. He entered the house, and saw that she was doing the Bhai Dooj puja. The sister on seeing him after such a long time, welcomed her brother with a smile and embraced him. She at once brought lovely fruits and sweet meats to eat. She set about preparing kheer, puri, kachori, and lots of other tasty items. When her husband came after work, both of them provided a very enjoyable and memorable time to the young lad, so that he was full of joy.

Days passed, and it was time for the brother to take leave of his sister and brother-in-law. Before returning back, the brother narrated the whole incident to his sister and told her that his days were numbered and that he is soon going to die. The sister was shocked, but she decided to accompany him for the return journey. She secretly packed some meat for the tiger, some milk for the snake, flowers of silver and gold for the mountain and some roli and rice for the river.

Soon they were on their way and, of course, the tiger came first to eat up the brother. The sister gave him the meat and he went his way. Then came the mountain, which wanted to fall on her brother. She quickly performed puja with the gold and silver flowers and the mountain was very pleased with the offerings and stopped falling. Then it was the turn of the snake, and it was given the milk, and went away satisfied. They now reached the river and as was expected, it started to rise, but the sister subdued it by doing puja with roli and rice, and the river went down.



Both, brother and sister were very happy to escape the dangers of the forest and were anxious to reach home. The sister was now tired and thirsty. Soon she saw some gypsies working far away. She wanted to ask them for water, so the brother sat down under a tree-happy to be alive-and she went to the gypsies and got some water. Their the gypsies predicted that the danger was not over and her brother will die very soon. She asked them to tell her some way by which this calamity could be averted. One old woman came to her rescue and suggested that until her brother gets married, she should go on cursing him, right from now on and continuous to curse him all through the wedding and also insists on getting all rituals done to her first, only then this boy can be saved.

As soon as she reached near her brother, she started to curse him and to abuse him. The poor fellow was taken by surprise, but she continued calling him bad names. This thing continued even when they reached home. The mother, along with the villagers were very surprised at the nasty behavior of the sister, but no said anything as she was married and had came to her mother's place after a long time.

Soon, the brother's marriage was fixed to a beautiful girl. Still the sister went on cursing on any pretext. Everyone wanted the wedding to be over as soon as possible and the sister to be sent back to her village. On the wedding day, she insisted that all rituals be performed on her before her brother. The sister insisted that they tie the sehra on her forehead first. She found a small snake in the sehra instead of a string. She pulled out the snake. Next, the sister insisted that the barat (marriage procession) should go from the back door and not from the front door and no decorations be made. When the barat was to start, somehow the sister had fallen asleep. Ignoring her words, the barat started from beautiful front porch. But, no longer had everyone gather, the whole porch fell down, and narrowly missed the groom.

Now the time for the pheras (going round the fire) arrived and the sister had again gone to sleep. As soon as the first round of the pheras was done, the boy fell down in a dead faint, because of the evil spirits who had come to take him away. The sister woke up on hearing the noise and came cursing in to the courtyard. Hearing the abuses and seeing her blazing eyes, the evil spirits fled. It was now time for the boy and the girl to give kheer to each other. They let the sister have the first morsel from which she took out a hedgehog's spiked needle and quickly put it in her tiny bag as well.

The wedding was finally over and every one including the mother and brother were keen to see the sister leave. Before leaving for her husbands place, the sister narrated the prediction of the gypsies and gave the reason for her bad behavior. Everyone had tears in their eyes and they hugged her feet, and all present said with one voice: 'Let everyone have a sister like this, who is willing to be talked ill of, and will go about looking wild and angry even during a wedding, although it was to be the only wedding in the family - all this just to save her brother and family from disaster.

Thus, the custom is prevalent that a brother does not go to his sisters house for the teeka; instead the sisters bring or send the teeka to the brother, as danger may lurk on the way.

Bhai Dooj is a very popular festival in India. It is celebrated a day or two after Diwali. The date of this festival keeps changing year to year but it is always two days after Diwali. On this day sisters visit the house of their brother. They exchange gifts. They also carry a plate full of sweets, fruits and other goodies. In some part of the country the sister puts a red Tilak on the brother’s forehead.

Bhaiphota

In West Bengal this is called Bhaiphota. The sisters put chandan ka Tilak in West Bengal. Sisters and brothers wake up early. They wear new clothes. After this the sisters do a Bhai Dooj Puja. They do aarti of the brothers. Both the brother and the sister must fast before they perform Bhai Dooj. The sisters pray to god for a long life for their brothers in this festival promise that they will always take care of their sisters. Some elder brothers give gifts to their sisters too. Now that you know what exactly the festival is like and how it is celebrated.

The Beginning

We are now going to discuss how the festival started or rather the story of Bhai Dooj. It is true that all our festivals have a story behind them. This is what makes our culture so special and different. TheBhai Dooj katha goes like this. There was a family once upon a time in India. The family was a small one consisted of one brother and a sister. The sister was elder to the brother. When the sister was of marriageable age her parents got her married. The day she got married and was leaving for her husband’s house the brother was very upset.

After Marriage

The brother was very small so with time he started to forget about his sister. She initially did visit her mother’s house. However, with time she stopped visiting her mother’s house. The boy grew up with time. Every year he would see his friend’s celebrating Bhai Dooj. He would miss his sister very badly. He grew up to be a young and strong man. The mother tells him one day that it is a custom that the sister selects the bride for the brother. The brother asks his mother why his sister never visits them. The mother told him that the path to his sister’s village is filled with life threatening dangers so she is unable to visit them. He decides that he will go to his sister’s village on Bhai Dooj. The mother gets very upset and worried at her son’s decision.

The Path

The mother tells the lad what he can expect. There is a river on the way that drowns people. A forest that is full of wild animals. Then there is a huge mountain to cross. These create a lot of problems for the people who try to cross them. The brother said that he does not care he wants to go and meet his sister on Bhai Dooj. The story of Bhai Dooj takes an interesting turn now. When the brother tries to cross the river it increases its water level and tries to drown him. He tells the river to drown him when he is back after seeing his sister. The river agrees. After the river he enters the wild forest. In the forest he sees a lot of dangerous snakes who want to bite him. He prays to them and tells them that they can bite him when he is back from his sister’s place. They agree too. After the forest comes the huge mountain that starts throwing rocks on the lad. He prays to the mountain that he is going to meet his sister. On his way back the mountain can crush him.

The Lion



After all these hardships when he reaches very close to his sister’s village. He encounters a huge lion who wants to eat him right away. He pleads to the lion that he has come there after facing a lot of hardships just to celebrate Bhai Dooj with his sister. The lion can eat him when he is going back home. The lion trusts him and lets him go. The brother is happy that he is safe but he knows that his days are limited and he will die soon. The sister is thrilled to see the lad she embraces him. She performs the Bhai Dooj puja as she had been doing for years. Then she applies the Tilak on his forehead. After that she offers him sweets and fruits in a plate. The brother is also very happy at all this.

The sister is so happy that she makes many delicacies for him. Like Kachori, Puri and kheer. This tradition is still followed the sister makes delicacies for her brother even now. The brother in law came home in the evening and is very happy to see the lad. They together spend a good time witheach other. Soon the day arrives when the brother has to leave. He tells his sister that his days are limited now as on his way he had promised the lion, mountain, snakes and the river to kill him on his journey back. They all are waiting for him. The sister gets scared and decides to accompany him and ensure that he reaches home safely. She packs some small things that she can offer these dangers on the way back. She packs a loaf of meat, some milk, silver and gold flower, rice and roli for the journey. She does not tell her brother about this.

Next day morning they leave the house in the morning. On the way the lion is the first danger that they encounter. The sister gives him a loaf of meat and tells him to leave her brother. The lion is pleased with the meat and allows them to go. After this they come across the huge mountain that starts throwing stones and rocks at them. The sister quickly takes out the silver and gold flowers and does the puja which pleases the mountain. He lets them go. After a while they come across a snake. She gives him the milk that she was carrying and it too leaves without hurting the brother. Now it is time to cross the roaring river that is waiting to drown the lad. The sister takes out some roli and rice to do the puja. The river is satisfied with the puja and soon the river calms down and lets them swim across.

The sister and brother are very happy and excited that they could handle all the trouble so well. The sister is tired and thirsty after all the hardships that they had to face. So she goes to get some water from the gypsies that she could spot close by. The brother waits for her to return. The gypsies tell her that the lad with her is going to die soon as some evil spirits are trying to harm him. The gypsies have special powers and they can predict future of the people. The sister gets very upset and tells that she can do anything to save the lad. An old woman among the gypsies tells her that there is a solution. She has to get the brother married soon. Before the marriage actually happens she has to go on cursing the brother. All the ceremonies of the marriage have to be performed on her first and then on her brother. This was the only way to save the lad.

The Bhai Dooj katha now takes a very interesting turn again. The sister returns back to the brother with water and starts to curse him and call him names. The brother is confused. He has no idea what went wrong. She continues to misbehave with him even after reaching her mother’s house. The villagers and the family members are confused and angry. However, they cannot do much to the girl as she is a married woman and has come home after a long time. They just tolerate her rude behaviour.

She tells her mother that she will leave only after the brother is married off. The mother agrees and they start looking for a good girl. They soon find one and the date of marriage is fixed. While the marriage preparation is on there is no change in the behaviour of the girl. He is as rude to him as ever. He keeps abusing him the whole day. The family members and the villagers just want the marriage to be over so that she leaves as they too cannot take this anymore.

On the day of the marriage she insists that all the ceremonies are performed on her first before they are done on her brother. No one is able to understand why she is demanding something so weird. Nevertheless, they agree to her demands as they cannot take the abuses anymore. First the sehra is tied on her forehead before her brother. She pulled a small snake from it. Then the sehra was put on the brother. Now the sister insisted that the barat should leave from the back door and not from the front door as the tradition generally is. The sister fell asleep when the barat was leaving. This is why they left from the front door. The whole porch fell and narrowly escaped the brother. This sound woke up the sister.

They soon reached the house of the bride. When the time for phera came the sister fell asleep again. Soon after the first round of the seven the brother fell unconscious. This was so as the evil spirits had come to take him away with them. The confusion that happened woke up the sister. She soon reached the mantap and started abusing the brother again. The evil spirits got scared of the abuses and they left. The boy gained senses and completed the remaining pheras. It is a custom that after the phera is over the bride feeds kheer to the groom. Now again the sister said that she should be given kheer first. The bride obliged and the sister could find a needle in the kheer.

The wedding was finally over and all were happy. Everyone waited for the sister to leave as she had been behaving very badly since she had come. Before leaving the sister told everyone what the gypsy woman had told her and how she tried to save her brother from the evil spirits. This explained why she was cursing her beloved brother for so long and why she was so adamant that the marriage ceremonies are performed on her first. She also showed the needle that she got from the kheer. The mother and the villagers were shocked to hear the actual story. Some of them even had tears in their eyes. All the villagers touched her feet and they said that everyone should have a sister like her who is willing to face any danger and do anything for the safety of her brother. If she had not done what she was doing it would have been a very big tragedy and both the families would have suffered. This is the original and the very popular Bhai Dooj katha. This is exactly why unlike rakhi the brother doesn’t visit the sister. Instead the sister visits the brother. Brothers visiting sisters can be a bad omen and bring danger on the brother.

These are some of the details about the story of Bhai Dooj. The festival of brothers and sisters, it celebrates this special bond. The story is interesting indeed. However, this is what has started the festival and is still being followed. It is an integral part of our tradition. Some may feel that it is just a story and it never happened. We just wanted you to know whatBhai Dooj katha actually is as very few people are aware of the same. Even today in the Bhai Dooj puja this katha is recited by the ladies of the house. Before the Bhai Dooj ceremony actually starts.








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