Why Bhai Dooj festival is celebrated
Bhai Dooj is a festival that is celebrated on the fifth day after Diwali festival as the festival falls on the second day after the new moon that is the Dooj day. Bhai Dooj is based on mythological concept which refers to two terms namely Bhai that means Brother and Dooj refers the second day after the new moon. This festival is special and precious for brother and sister relationship where sisters pray for the long life of their brother.
The Bhai Dooj festival is the essence of celebration which is mainly celebrated by the Hindus and is an important occasion to strengthen the relationship of a brother and a sister. On this day a sister prays for the well-being and prosperity of her brother by putting Tilak on his forehead and the brother in turn promises to protect his sister at all times and offer gifts to sister and share food which indulge from the depth of their hearts.
Bhai Dooj festival is called differently in different states.
Bhaubeej in Maharashtra
Bhai Bheej in Gujarat
Bhai Pota in West Bengal
Tikka in Punjab
Bhai Dooj festival is related to many legend stories according to religious scriptures. Yamaraj the Lord of death visited his sister Yamuna one day after a long time. His sister was very happy to him after so many years. She welcomed him by putting Tilak on his forehead which is considered as an auspicious mark. Then they both shared meal. Yamaraj was so pleased for his sister’s reception and said that this day would be celebrated as Bhai dooj every year and if sisters put tilak to their brothers no harm reaches to them. So the Bhai dooj festival is called as Yamadwitheya an till date this tradition is followed where sisters perform pooja for their brothers safety and well being and inturn brothers give gifts to their sisters.
There is another story related to the origin of Bhai Dooj festival, that when Bhagawaan Mahavir, the founder of Jainism, attained nirvana on the day of Diwali festival his brother Nandivardhan missed him and was distressed and went to his sister’s house Sudarshana. She comforted him and welcomed him by putting tilak on his forehead. From then women celebrate this day as Bhai Dooj.
There is also another version of Bhai Dooj festival, when Lord Krishna, after killing demon king Narakasura, went to meet his sister Subhadra. Subhadra welcomed Lord Krishna in the traditional way by putting tilak on his forehead and showing him a light. So the day is celebrated of her sisterly protection.