This year, the festival of Bhai Dooj is being celebrated on 21 October, Saturday. There are many alternative names for this festival such as Bhau Beej, Bhai Teeka, or Bhai Phota in West Bengal. This day is celebrated to mark the special bond between the brother and sister and is very much similar to Raksha Bandhan. There is a slight difference in both the celebrations; in Raksha Bandhan, the sisters’ tie Rakhi to their brothers and here the brothers are bound to protect their sisters’ from evil. In Bhai Dooj, the sisters’ in a way protect their brothers from evil as they pray to God to provide them with long life and good health. On this day the sisters’ wake up early morning have a bath and perform pooja to the Gods and the Goddesses for the better future of their brother and their long life. After that, they apply tilak on the forehead of their brothers and do aarti. The brothers in return give gifts to their sisters.
In some parts of India such as Maharashtra and Haryana, the girls who don’t have brothers celebrate Bhai Dooj by worshipping Moon as their brother.
The story behind this celebration
According to the Hindu mythology, the God of Death Yamraj visited his sister Yami on the day of Bhai Dooj. Yami was quite happy to see her brother and thus she welcomed him with a tilak on his forehead and aarti. She made lots of delicacies and offered it to her brother. Yamraj was so happy by seeing his sister’s love and affection that in return he gave her gifts to show his gratitude and love towards her. Hence, this day is also known as Yama Dwitiya.
There is also another story about this festival which states that Lord Krishna after killing the demon Narakasur visited his sister Subhadra on this day and she welcomed him in the same way.
The Muhurat or the Auspicious timings for doing the Aarti
Bhai Dooj Tika Muhurat: 13: 12 to 15: 27
Dwitiya Tithi Begins: 1: 37 on 21/Oct/2017
Dwitiya Tithi Ends: 3: 00 on 22/Oct/2017