INDIA INFO: India - Bhaubeej Festival of India

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Bhaubeej Festival of India

A part of the Diwali festival, Bhaubeej is celebrated two days after Diwali. It is an occasion to highlight the love between brothers and sisters. Bhaubeej is celebrated all over India though regional variations can be seen in the method of its celebration. The festival of Bhaubeej is also known as Bhai Phota, Bhai Dooj, and Bhatri Ditya, etc.

Date of Bhaubeej or Bhai dooj is decided according to the position of the moon as the festival is to be celebrated on the 'Dooj' day during the Hindu month of Kartik, which is the month of October - November according to Gregorian calendar. 'Dooj', in Hindi, means the day after the new moon night, while also marking the conclusion of Diwali celebrations.

The most popular legend of Bhaubeej narrates a story related to Yamaraj – a Hindu God and his sister Yamuna. It is said that once on the auspicious day of ‘Dooj’, Yamaraj visited his twin sister after a long time. Yamuna treated him very affectionately. She applied ‘tilak’ on her brother's forehead and offered him a sumptuous meal. Lord Yama was so pleased that he declared that anyone who will be ever greeted with a ‘tilak’ and a meal on the Dooj day will never be hurled to hell.

Another popular legend related to the festival says that after slaying the demon Narakasur, Lord Krishna visited his sister Subhadra who received him very warmly. Subhadra applied ‘tilak’ on Krishna's forehead and showered flowers on him. Since then the custom of applying ‘tilak’ became extremely popular in India.

The festival is a time for family reunion as the entire family comes together to meet each other in a festive spirit. Sisters invite their brothers for a meal. They perform an ‘aarti’, or a prayer, and pray to the Lord for the well being of their brother, who is their protector. In return, the brother bestows the sister with gifts, and promises to protect her from all adversities in life. After the pomp and show of diwali, this festival is celebrated in a quiet and solemn mood.

The latest trend is to send E-Tika as more and more siblings have Internet access. Brothers and sisters reflect on the joyful memories of their shared past, their future plans and share their joys and sorrows. The whole day just passes in the blissful feeling of togetherness.

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