Bhai Dooj celebrations all over India
After the celebration of great festival Diwali, mostly north Indians on the fifth day of Diwali celebrate Bhai Dooj, the festival of brother and sister. Bhai dooj Festival is celebrated in India with different names with different rituals and traditions. This festival is celebrated to strengthen the eternal bond of love shared between a brother and her sister.
Bhai Phota in West Bengal:
The state of West Bengal celebrates the Bhai Dooj festival as Bhai Phota or Bhai Fota. Here in West Bengal all the sister’s do fast from the morning till the Bhai Phota ritual is performed. During this festival of Bhai Phota, sister’s put tilak made of ghee, sandalwood paste and kaajal on their brother’s forehead and an ‘arati’ is also performed. There is a tradition in West Bengal on this day the elder brother and sister gives rice and durba, a type of grass to the younger ones as, a rice symbolizes plenty and durba is for longetivity. Bhai Phota special sweets like Kheer and coconut laddoos are a must-eat on this day.
Bhai Tika in Nepal:
In Nepal the Bhai dooj festival is called as Bhai Tika or Bhai Teeka. As the name of Diwali is Tihar in Nepal the Bhai dooj festival is also known as Bhai Tihar. On this auspicious day of Bhai Tika, sister’s apply a special ‘Paanch Rangi Tika’ on their brother’s forehead which consists of five colours such as green, red, blue, white and yellow. Sister’s even draw mandaps in the name of the God using Doob grass and then carry out the Tika ceremony. Here the festival symbolizes that no one can even Lord Yama can cross the boundary protected by a loving sister.
Bhav beej in Maharashtra and Goa:
The fifth day festival of Diwali Bhai Dooj is also celebrated in Maharashtra and Goa states with a popular name as Bhav Bij or Bhaubeej. In these states sister’s draw a special square shaped space on the floor where brother has to be seated for Bhav Bij ceremony, but before that the brother is made to eat a bitter fruit called Karith. Here the tradition has come from the legend when Lord Krishna tasted this fruit before he went for a fight with demon Narakasura. Special dishes are made during this Bhav Bij festival like Basundi Poori or Shrikhand Poori.
Bhai Beej in Gujarat:
In the state of Gujarat, Bhai Dooj Festival is celebrated as Bhai Beej or Bhai Bij in their Gujrathi language. Here the festival rituals are performed just like rest of India, where sister’s put sacred tilak on their brother’s forehead and perform arti and pray for his safty and long life.
Bhai Dooj in Bihar:
The Bhai Dooj festival in the state of Bihar is celebrated in a very unique way, where sister’s curse brothers and prick their own tongues as punishment for cursing their brother and ask them to forgive for the curses, and also for past mistakes. Then brothers forgive sisters and then bless and pray for their welfare. There is a custom in Bihar that the brothers should swallow a few grains of bajri with water, before eating special Bhai Dooj sweets from their sister’s hands.
Tikka in Punjab:
In Punjab state, Bhai Dooj festival is called as ‘Tikka’. In Punjab sister’s put tilak on their brother’s forehead which is made of paste with saffron and rice so that no harm comes near brother’s.
Bhai Dooj in Uttar Pradesh:
In the state of Uttar Pradesh, Bhai Dooj festival is celebrated as sister’s applying tilak, paste made of roli and rice on brother’s forehead and pray and perform arati to shed off the evil effects. And in return brother’s gift their sister’s an `aabf’- a length of flax, knotted into a circular shape and dotted with sugar batashas.
Bhathru Dwithiya or Bhatri Ditya in other places :
In most of the places in India, Bhai Dooj festival is popularly known as Bhathru Dwithiya or Bhatri Ditya where ‘Bhathru’ or ‘Bhatri’ means brother while ‘Dwithiya’ or ‘Ditya’ symbolizes new moon that comes on the second day after Diwali. On this auspicious day brother’s visit their sister’s to celebrate Bhatri Ditya festival. There is custom on this festival as ‘Bhagini Hastha Bhojanam’ means brother’s must share food prepared by their sister.
Yamadwitheya as Bhai Dooj:
In most of the Northern India, Bhaidooj Festival is celebrated as Yamadwitheya which is named after the legend of Lord Yamaraj.