Traditions and Customs
Popular festival of Bhai Dooj is celebrated with joy and mirth by brothers and sisters in India. It is heartening to note that even till date age-old traditions and customs of the festival are dutifully followed with sincerity and faith by loving siblings of all ages.
Bhai Dooj falls on the second day after the new moon that comes two days after the festival of Diwali in the Hindu month of Kartik (October - November). On Bhai Dooj sisters pray for their brothers long life and brothers promise to protect their sisters from all adversities.
Brothers visit Sisters on Bhai Dooj
On Bhai Dooj, it is customary for brothers to visit their sisters and have a meal with them. The custom in Sanskrit is summed up with, Bhagini Hastha Bhojanam. Meaning sharing a meal with sisters. The tradition was set by Yamadoot - the Hindu mythological God of Death who visited his sister Yami or Yamuna after a long period of separation on the day of Dooj. Yami welcomed his brother with tika - arti and treated Yama with a lavish meal. Yamadoot declared that whosoever receives tika and meal from his sister on Dooj day will never be hurled to hell. The custom is since then being followed by brothers and sisters each year. In present times, sisters too visit brother as per convenience. At some places brothers and sisters join hands and take a holy dip in the waters of river Yamuna before they proceed with the rituals for the day. Chitragupta - mythical record keeper of Yamadoot is also worshipped in several communities.
Preparing Puja Thali
On the day of Bhai Dooj sisters wakes up early. After preparing a lavish meal for brother sister prepares a Puja Thali, which is the most essential part of Bhai Dooj festival. A well-decorated and all comprehensive thali depicts sisters love for her brother and her faith in the tradition. Traditionally, Bhai Dooj Puja Thali contains roli, aipun and rice for tika and diya for arti. Coconut, sweet prasad of mithai or batasha and shagun of seven paan (betel leaves) are also placed in the thali. Sacred symbol of Swastika is drawn in the centre of the thali with tika.
Rituals of Bhai Dooj
Rituals of Bhai Dooj may be performed in Puja room or in the any other room. Before beginning with Bhai Dooj customs, sisters invoke the blessings of the gods and ancestors. She then requests the brother to sit down on an asana or chair. Sister first applies sacred red tika on brothers forehead and sticks some rice over the tika. She then loving performs arti of her brother by taking rounds of the thali and says a secret prayer for the well being of her brother. At the end she gives a piece of sweet prasad and coconut to brother. At the end of the ceremony, brothers bless their sisters and promise to protect them under all circumstances.
Exchange of Bhai Dooj Gifts
On Bhai Tika, it is customary for brothers to pamper sister with Bhai Dooj gifts or some cash. Popular Bhai Dooj gifts for sisters include jewelry, beaded bags, perfumes, teddy bears and chocolates. Sisters too pamper their brothers with sweets, dry-fruits, shirts or wrist watch hamper. After the ceremony, the whole family settles down to have a meal and share the joys of togetherness.
Send Online Tika Gifts
Sisters unable to meet their brother on Bhai Duj send Tika by post or courier. These days Bhai Dooj E-Cards are quite popular as these gives opportunity to send virtual tika instantaneously in a cost-effective manner. Tika gifts are send to sibling through online Bhai Dooj gift shopping sites.